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Set up and electrotyped September, 1901. Reprinted April, 
1902 ; July, 1904; March, 1905. 

NortoooD 3JJrf8 

J. a Gushing & Co. - Berwick t Smitk 
Norwood Man. U.S.A. 


FOR pressing into the crowded ranks of psychological 
text-books, this volume has one practical excuse to offer, 
the convenience of the students to whom its author lec- 
tures. The book is written in the conviction that psy- 
chology should study consciousness, both as a series of 
complex mental processes, or ideas, and as a relation of 
conscious selves to each other. It is hoped, however, that 
the two points of view have been so carefully distinguished 
that the book may be useful to readers who reject one or 
other of these underlying conceptions. 

As its name implies, the book is intended for students 
beginning the study of psychology ; and, except for the 
last chapter and parts of the Appendix, it substantially 
reproduces a first course, as actually given. References 
to psychological literature and formulations of conflicting 
theories are included, in the belief that, in the use of text- 
books, " a man's reach should exceed his grasp," and with 
the conviction that excessively simplified statements, un- 
supported by reference to different writers, tend to breed 
in the student a dogmatic or an unduly docile habit of 
thought. The references, like the supplementary discus- 
sions of the Appendix, are meant also for the use of the 
more advanced student. The section on the structure and 
functions of the nervous system has been added, for the 
practical advantage of including, within the covers of 
one book, all that is absolutely essential to the first-year 


vi Preface 

The text-book, however, is a necessary yet a subsidiary 
adjunct to the study of any science. It is useful only as 
it stimulates, directs, verifies and supplements the indi- 
vidual observation of the reader. This book has been 
written, accordingly, with the constant purpose of leading 
students to the independent and careful study of their 
own consciousness. It is highly desirable that such intro- 
spective study should be supplemented by experiments, 
performed by the student under direction, and that this 
experimental introspection should precede, instead of fol- 
lowing, the study of every division of the text. Detailed 
references are given, at appropriate points, to the two 
English manuals of experimental psychology. 

The general reader who may open this volume should 
be warned against certain technical chapters. He will do 
well to skim Part I., omitting entirely Chapters VII. and 
VIII. ; and he should especially devote himself to Part II., 
from which, however, he may drop out Chapters XIII., 
XVIIL, and XIX. 

The final paragraph in this Preface is the pleasantest, 
in all the book, to write, for it contains my acknowledg- 
ments to the people who have helped me. My greatest 
indebtedness is to Professors William James and Hugo 
Miinsterberg. One of the distinctive theories of the book 
the existence of elements of consciousness which are 
neither sensational nor affective is simply a developed 
and systematized statement of the teaching of James, and 
the frequent quotations from the " Principles of Psychol- 
ogy " are better reading than any original paragraph in 
the book. The second fundamental theory of this book, 
the conception of psychology as a science of related selves, 
is closely affiliated with Munsterberg's conception of his- 
tory as science of the relations of willing subjects ; and 
few chapters of the book are uninfluenced by his vigorous 

Preface vii 

teaching. A list of the text-books and monographs, by 
which I have especially profited, would be very long, but 
would certainly include the names of Kiilpe, Titchener, 
Ward, Stout, Brentano, and Flechsig. I owe, also, more 
than I can well express to the viva voce suggestions and 
criticisms of my colleague, Professor Mary S. Case, and 
of my former teacher, Professor Edmund C. Sanford. 
And, finally, my warm thanks are due to my father, who 
has indefatigably read manuscript and proof, to Mrs. C. L. 
Franklin, who has read the discussion of color-theories, 
and to my colleague, Dr. E. A. McC. Gamble, who has 
added a section to the Appendix and has critically read 
most of the manuscript. To Dr. Gamble's criticism of the 
chapters on sensation and on affection, I am especially 
indebted. Figures 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, II, 12, 13, 14 and 18, 
which illustrate portions of the text, are reproduced or 
adapted, by the kind permission of Henry Holt and Co., 
from James's "Principles of Psychology" and "Briefer 
Psychology " and from Martin's " Human Body." 



THE most important changes in this new edition are the 
following: (i) Attention is treated as an 'attributive,' 
not as a ' relational ' element of consciousness ; in other 
words, it is allied with the affections and the feeling of 
realness (cf. pp. 127, 137, 140, 145, 173, 174, 178, 184, 185). 
(2) A misstatement, founded on a misunderstanding, of 
Marshall's teaching about pleasure and pain, has been cor- 
rected (pp. 120 and 121). (3) The account of emotion 
has been supplemented by treating emotion as a doubly 
particularizing experience (cf. p. 264). I had planned to 

viii Preface 

amplify, also, the discussion of * thought ' as distinguished 
from ' perception ' ; but I am not yet prepared to reduce 
to print my reflections on the subject. 

The other additions to the book are: (i) A section, 
added to the Appendix, on duration, as alleged attribute of 
consciousness (p. 491); (2) a long footnote (p. 136), giving 
references to the literature of the doctrine of relational 
elements; (3) a brief supplement to the bibliography 
(P- 53)- I nave regretfully refrained from swelling the 
footnotes by additional citations : in particular, I should 
have been glad to refer in more detail to Miinsterberg's 
" Grundziige," especially to the sections which discuss 

Corrections and amendments of statement, and correc- 
tions of careless proof-reading, have been made on pages 
19, 20, 24, 39, 43, 50-52, 55, 58, 63, 71, 80, 81, 84, 99, 100, 
114, 116, 150, 167, 191, 243, 263, 279, 289, 324, 325, 357, 
360, 416, 439, 440, 487, 496, 501. Figure 4, on page 31, 
should be more explicitly attributed to its originator, Pro- 
fessor Titchener. 

None of these alterations or additions affect the paging 
in the body of the book ; and copies of the first and of the 
second edition may, therefore, readily be used together. 

DECEMBER, 1904. 





I. Nature of Psychology 3 

II. Methods of Psychology 7 




Structural Elements of Consciousness 


I. Sensational Elements of Color 18 

II. Sensational Elements of Colorless Light .... 28 

III. Sensational Elements of Brightness 42 



I. Sensational Elements of Pitch and Noise .... 46 

II. Sensational Elements of Loudness 53 


x Table of Contents 



I. Sensations of Taste . . . . . . . 55 

II. Sensations of Smell ........ 59 


I. The Sensation of Pressure 65 

II. The Sensations of Pain . . . . . . 71 

III. Sensations of Temperature 76 



I. Sensations from Internal Excitation: 

a. Sensations of Strain ....... 80 

b. Alleged Sensations of Position . . . . .81 

c. The Alleged Sensations of Dizziness .... 84 

d. Alleged Organic Sensations from Internal Stimulus . 84 
II. The Consciousness of Motion 86 


I. The Elemental Consciousness of Extensity: 

a. Visual Extensity 89 

b. Pressure-extensity 92 

c. Extensity of Sounds and of Other Sensation-classes . 93 
II. The Developed Consciousness of Extensity: 

a. Consciousness of Surface ...... 95 

b. Consciousness of Distance or Depth .... 97 



Summaries, pp. 109, no. 

Table of Contents xi 



I. The Affections 113 

II. The Feelings of Realness 124 

III. The Attention-element 127 




Concrete Conscious Experiences 



Summaries, pp. 160, 167. 


I. (Percept and Perceiving) 169 

II. (Analysis and Classification) 173 

Summary, p. 179. 


I. (Image and Imagining) 185 

II. (Analysis and Classification) 189 

Summary, p. 190. 

xii Table of Contents 



IMAGINATION (continued') : MEMORY 210 


I. (Thought and Thinking) 218 

II. (Analysis and Classification) : 

a. Generalization 221 


b. The Simple Judgment 234 

c. Reasoning ........ 240 


I. (Recognition and Recognizing) 252 

II. (The Feeling of Familiarity) 254 


I. (Emotion as Idea and as Relation of Self) . . . 263 

II. (Analysis and Classification) 265 

Summary, p. 266. 

a. Personal Emotion 266 

b. Impersonal Emotion 276 

Summary, p. 277. 

III. (Physiological Conditions and Accompaniments of Emo- 
tion) 285 

Summary, p. 289. 

Table of Contents xiii 



I. a. Volition 299 

b. Belief 304 

II. a. Will 307 

b. Faith 311 

III. (Classification) 313 

Summary, p. 313. 




I. Typical Personal Relations 321 

II. The Religious Consciousness ...... 323 



I. Forms of Social Consciousness 333 

II. Imitation and Opposition 339 




Summary, p. 351. 

Comparative Psychology 


I. Structural Elements of the Animal Consciousness: 

a. Sensational Consciousness 356 

xiv Table of Contents 


>. Relational Experiences : 

1. Recognition 367 

2. Thought 367 

c. Affections and Emotions 372 

II. The Personal and Social Consciousness of Animals . . 374 


I. The Consciousness of the Baby ...... 384 

II. The Consciousness of Little Children . . . .392 


Abnormal Psychology 



I. Phenomena of Abnormal Consciousness : 

a. Dreams 397 

b. Abnormal Experiences of the Waking Life : 

1 . Waking Illusions and Hallucinations . . 402 

2. Automatic Writing 405 

c. Hypnosis 406 

II. Analogy of Abnormal States to the Normal Experience . 113 

III. Differences of Abnormal and Normal States : 

a. Changes in Personality . . . . . .415 

b. Veridical Experiences. Telepathy . . . 420 




Table of Contents xv 


SECT. I. Structure and Functions of the Nervous System . 449 

SECT. II. Aphasia 460 

SECT. III. Sensational Elements of Color and Colorless Light : 

I. Theories 464 

II. Certain Phenomena of Color-vision: 

a. Contrast Phenomena .... 473 

b. Color Blindness 475 

c. The Purkinje Phenomenon . . . 478 

SECT. IV. The Physical and the Physiological Conditions of 

Sensations of Smell. By E. A. McC. Gamble . 480 

SECT. V. End-organs of Pressure and of Pain : 

I. End-organs of Pressure : Von Frey's Theory 482 
II. Theories of the Physiological Excitation of 

Pain 484 

SECT. VI. Bodily Movements 485 

SECT. VII. Theories of Attention 486 

SECT. VIII. Duration . . . 491 







ALL psychologists would agree to define their subject, 
at least in an introductory and provisional way, as the 
science of consciousness. But this definition is not en- 
lightening unless its terms are thoroughly understood, and 
we must at once, therefore, proceed to discuss the nature 
of a science. 

Science is the systematic study of facts. It must be 
distinguished both from philosophy and from the every- 
day consciousness. From the latter it differs only in 
method, for both science and the everyday consciousness 
have to do with phenomena or facts ; but science studies 
these phenomena critically, analyzes them into their ulti- 
mate parts, and classifies them by their most essential like- 
nesses, whereas the everyday consciousness observes facts 
uncritically, as conglomerates, with little or no analysis 
and with only a superficial recognition of the most striking 
likenesses. So, for example, the tourist, wandering over 
the ground of a recent excavation in Greece, sees a frag- 
ment of marble, and classifies it hastily as ' some part of 
a temple.' The trained archaeologist examines the same 
bit of stone, finds traces of half-obliterated flutings, and 
unhesitatingly assigns it to a place in the triglyph of a 
particular temple or treasure-house. In the same way, 
the untrained ear hears only a multitude of mingling bird- 
notes, whereas the naturalist recognizes this as the note 
of the oriole, and that as the trill of a warbler ; the 
careless observer sees only a scarred rock, but the geolo- 


4 Nature of Psychology 

gist identifies the marks on its weather-beaten surface as 
glacial scratchings ; and the ordinary reader sees nothing 
remarkable in a word which the philologist studies for 
months in his efforts to discover its exact affiliations. 
Now, in all these cases it is evident, as has been said, that 
the objects of the scientific and the everyday conscious- 
ness are the same, architectural fragments, bird-notes, 
rock surfaces and words. But the two differ widely in 
their method ; and the ordinary observer knows nothing of 
the close observation nor of the analytic and systematic 
classification of the scientist. 

When we turn to the contrast between science and 
philosophy, we find a reversal of the situation. For meta- 
physics, like science, analyzes, classifies, and seeks to 
explain. The contrast between the two must be sought 
mainly in the object of the study rather than in the 
method. Philosophy is the attempted study of the self- 
dependent whole of reality, or of partial realities as related 
to this fundamental whole. A science is, on the contrary, 
a systematic study of facts or phenomena; that is, of 
limited or partial realities, as related to each other without 
reference to a more fundamental reality. We must justify 
this definition in some detail. 

It is entirely certain, in the first place, that every science 
has a more or less limited sphere of study. Physics does 
not investigate the chemical constitution of its masses ; 
geology does not analyze and classify mineralogical phe- 
nomena; philology, though allied to epigraphy, does not 
concern itself with the new forms of letters. Science 
never, then, " aims at the whole world generally " ; its 
objects are always definitely limited. It is equally clear 
that scientific facts or phenomena are related to each 
other, since scientific investigation is constantly linking 
facts together and explaining the one by the other. The 
pulse-beat cannot be understood except as connected 
with the contraction of the heart and the dilation of the 
arteries ; the explosion is dependent on the firing of 

Nature of Psychology 5 

the fuse ; a national costume is related to facts of climate. 
Every fact, in a word, is recognized as dependent on 

It may be shown, finally, that the scientist does not seek 
to relate his phenomena to ultimate or total reality. He 
does not ask if the rock or the bodily tissue is ultimately 
a spiritual or a material reality. He rests content when 
the physiological phenomenon has been reduced to its 
lowest chemical elements, when the physical fact of light 
or heat has been hypothetically transformed into its espe- 
cial modes of vibration ; and he does not ask " What is the 
place of chemical element and of ether wave in the system 
of total reality ? " The problems of ultimate reality belong 
to philosophy, not to science ; for philosophy is, as has been 
said, the attempt to study either the self-dependent whole 
of reality, or a partial reality as related to the whole. It 
studies, therefore, the ultimate nature of every phenomenon 
of science, self and thought, bodily tissue and physical 
mass, and it seeks not only to relate each phenomenon 
with every other, but to fit it into a complete scheme of 

It may now be pointed out that psychology has both 
characteristics of a science. From the everyday observa- 
tion of consciousness, it is distinguished by its systematic 
method of analysis and classification. Instead of casually 
observing merely the more unusual psychological phe- 
nomena, pranks of the imagination, feats of logic or 
peculiarities of the dream-life, the psychologist carefully 
observes and analyzes all psychological phenomena, ordi- 
nary as well as extraordinary, and systematically classifies 
them. As opposed to philosophy, on the other hand, 
psychology sturdily refuses to study the nature of the 
soul, its permanence or immortality and its relation to 
matter, and simply analyzes the forms of self-consciousness 
or studies people in their social relations. 

We have next to distinguish psychology from the physi- 
cal sciences. All sciences deal with facts, and there are 

6 Nature of Psychology 

two great classes of facts, Selves and Facts-for-the- 
Selves. But the second of these great groups, the Facts- 
for-the-Selves, is again capable of an important division 
into Internal and External Facts. To the first class belong 
percepts, images, memories, thoughts, emotions and voli- 
tions, inner events as we may call them; to the second 
class belong the things and the events of the outside world, 
the physical facts, as we may name them. 

There can be no doubt that we actually do make these 
sharp distinctions : first, the contrast between selves and 
all other facts; and second, the opposition of our per- 
cepts, feelings and thoughts, the inner phenomena, to the 
outside things and events. When we examine this last 
contrast we find two reasons for it. In the first place, the 
inner facts, the memories, emotions and all the rest, are 
realized as private, unshared experiences belonging to me 
alone ; whereas the things or events are public, shared 
facts, common property, as it were. My fear or delight 
is my own private experience, and so, for that matter, is 
my perception, for I have my own particular way of look- 
ing at everything, which I share with no one else. But 
the beast who frightens me, the spring day which delights 
me, the sunset of which I have my own particular percep- 
tion all these are public facts shared with an unlimited 
number of other selves, facts which no longer bear the 
stamp of my individuality. Close upon this difference fol- 
lows another. Just because the shared or public facts are 
not referred to any particular self, they tend to seem inde- 
pendent of all selves and to become externalized ; whereas 
the private facts continue to be referred to a self, and in 
this way, also, are contrasted with events or things which 
seem to us quite cut off from selves. The physical sciences 
study these common and apparently independent or exter- 
nalized facts ; psychology as distinguished from them is 
the science of consciousness, the study of selves and. of the 
inner facts-for-selves. The following summary will make 
this clearer : 

Methods of Psychology 

of selves 


of ideas 

FACTS (Phenomena) : 

Facts-for-S elves 


Private ; 


unshared ; 

shared ; 

referred to 






We have suggested already that science has two essential 
methods analysis and classification. To the scientific 
treatment of any object it is necessary first, that it be re- 
duced to relatively simple parts, and next, that these parts 
be grouped and arranged, according to their important like- 
nesses and differences, in an orderly and systematic manner. 
Every recognized science, or division of a science, is an 
illustration of these statements. The chemical compound 
is reduced to its elements ; the physical movement is shown 
to be a composition of interacting forces ; the human body 
is analyzed into its tissues. Similarly, the philologist breaks 
up a complex verb form into stem or modified root, mood, 
tense, personal ending, reduplication and augment ; and the 
historian studies a given period according to its political, its 
economic, its ethical and its literary aspects. The second 
of these methods is equally manifest in the procedure of 
every scientist. A chemical combination of an acid with 
a base is classified, for example, as a sulphate or as a chlo- 
rate, according as sulphur or chlorine is a part of it ; physi- 
cal phenomena are optical or acoustic, according as they 
consist of ether or of atmosphere vibrations ; verbs are 
allied with each other by a common method of redupli- 
cation ; and historic periods, however chronologically dis- 
tinct, are grouped together by the historian as conservative 
or revolutionary, as creative or as imitative. 

8 Methods of Psychology 

There is a third scientific method and one of great 
significance explanation. In one sense, to be sure, expla- 
nation is merely a general term which covers both analysis 
and classification. So, for example, one may be said to 
explain salt when one has classified it with the chlorides 
and analyzed it into one part of sodium and one of chlorine. 
In this sense it is, of course, true that every science is 
explanatory simply because it is analytic and systematic. 
Explanation, however, has a more distinctive meaning : 
to explain means not merely to describe and to classify, but 
to assign the cause, to account for a phenomenon. The 
sulphuric acid, for example, is not merely analyzed into its 
elements and allied with the other sulphur compounds, but 
is explained as due to certain mechanical or thermal pro- 
cesses and to certain chemical affinities ; the movement 
which has been described as an interplay of opposing 
forces is traced to a falling weight ; the verbal form which 
has been analyzed into its elements is explained as the 
result of a peculiar conformation of lips and palate ; the 
civic revolution is discussed as the termination of a long 
series of preparatory events. Explanation, however, 
though immensely important, is not an essential method 
of science. When one has reduced a phenomenon to its 
simplest parts, and classified it by its similarities and dif- 
ferences, one has treated it scientifically even if one has 
not gone on to explain it by reference to some other 

The methods of psychology are, in general, these three 
methods of every science: analysis, classification and 
explanation. But besides these fundamental forms of 
procedure, every science has certain methods peculiar to 
itself; and the method which distinguishes psychology 
is that of introspection. This follows directly from what 
has been said of the subject-matter of psychology. Its 
facts are not the common, independent, externalized facts 
of the physical sciences, but the inner facts, selves and 
ideas. To observe the psychic fact one has not, there- 

Introspection 9 

fore, to sweep the heavens with a telescope, nor to travel 
about in search of rare geological formations ; but one has 
merely to ask oneself such questions as : " How do I 
actually feel?" "What do I mean when I say that I 
perceive, remember, believe ? " 

The method has obvious advantages. It makes no 
especial conditions of time and place; it requires no 
mechanical adjunct; it demands no difficult search for 
suitable material ; at any moment, in all surroundings, 
with no external outfit, one may study the rich material 
provided by every imaginable experience. In an extreme 
sense, all is grist that comes to the psychologist's mill. 
The apparent facility of introspection is, however, one 
of its greatest dangers. Nothing seems easier than to 
render to ourselves a true account of what goes on in our 
consciousness. We are tempted, therefore, to overlook the 
need of training in introspection and to minimize its charac- 
teristic difficulties. Chief among these is the change which 
it makes in its own object. To attend to a particular experi- 
ence actually alters it. If I ask myself in the midst of a 
hearty laugh " Just what is this feeling of amusement?" 
forthwith the feeling has vanished, and a strenuous, serious 
mood has taken its place. Much the same is true of every 
form of consciousness. To observe myself perceiving, 
remembering or judging is no longer simply to perceive, 
to remember and to judge, but to reflect upon perception, 
memory and judgment. It is true, therefore, as many 
psychologists have shown, that introspection is never of 
the immediate present, but is rather a case of memory, and 
subject, therefore, to all the uncertainties of memory. 
When I introspect, I recall the experience of the immedi- 
ate past ; and I must safeguard my introspection by seeing 
to it that the interval is short, between conscious experi- 
ence and analytic observation of it. Otherwise, I shall fall 
into a mistake so common that Professor James has called it l 

1 " Principles of Psychology," I., p. 196. 

io Methods of Psychology 

' the psychologist's fallacy ' the error of supposing that 
my present consciousness of a certain situation must ex- 
actly resemble my past experience of the same situation. 
The confusion becomes greater if I conclude that another 
man's experience is exactly what mine would be under 
similar circumstances. For the truth is, that only the atten- 
tive recollection of an experience immediately past can fur- 
nish us with the primary material for psychological analysis, 
classification and explanation. 

This verification of our own introspection is best secured 
by an important subsidiary method shared by psychology 
with many of the physical sciences the method of experi- 
ment. To experiment is to regulate artificially the condi- 
tions of phenomena in such wise as to repeat, to isolate, 
and to vary them at will. In a multitude of ways, there- 
fore, experiment aids scientific observation. Repetition of 
phenomena insures accuracy of analysis, and makes it pos- 
sible to verify the results of a single observation ; isolation 
of conditions narrows the object of study, and avoids the 
distraction of the observer's attention ; and, finally, varia- 
tion of conditions makes it possible to explain a phenom- 
enon exactly, by connecting it with those conditions only 
which it always accompanies. 

There is an important distinction between psychological 
and physical experimenting. In the latter, experiment 
deals with conditions of the same nature as the facts which 
are studied. Gas, or magnet, or nerve is directly modified 
by some change in the physical environment, such as heat, 
friction or electric stimulation. But in the psychical ex- 
periment the artificial condition is physical, not psychical ; 
that is, it is distinguished in its nature from the fact to be 
studied. This is because the psychic fact can be neither 
repeated nor varied. The stream of consciousness is a 
swift-flowing current whose waves and ripples never recur ; 
and no experience is the duplicate of another. It belongs, 
moreover, to the very nature of the fact of consciousness 
that it cannot be directly compared with another. I can 

Experiment in Psychology 1 1 

count the francs that I have paid for my Elzevir edition of 
Hobbes's " De Give," but I can never tell how much I enjoy 
it; I can enumerate the details of memory image, but I can 
never tell how vividly I remember. Since, however, experi- 
ment requires that the conditions of a given phenomenon be 
repeated and varied at will, it is evident that experiment 
must concern itself with the physical stimulation of psychic 
facts, and with the physical reactions to these stimuli. 
For example, though I cannot measure the vividness of a 
memory image, I can count the number of repetitions of a 
series of words which I read aloud to the person on whom 
I experiment; and I can compare the number of errors he 
makes in repeating the word-series when he has heard it 
once only, three times or five times ; or I may compare his 
errors after an interval of ten minutes, of an hour, of a day, 
or of a week. In this way I can gain, experimentally, a 
conclusion about the relation of memory to frequency of 
experience and to extent of intervening time ; and by re- 
peating the experiment many times with the same indi- 
vidual and with others, I may arrive at some trustworthy 
general conclusion. 

Psychological experimenting, as is shown by the exam- 
ple just given, may be of a very simple sort, and may well 
be carried on without formal mechanism. On the other 
hand, it may employ very delicate and complicated appa- 
ratus for stimulating the different sense-organs in different 
degrees and precisely measured times, for providing exact 
and variable rhythms, and for recording various physical 
reactions, such as pulse-beats and breathing. 

Experiment, it should be added, never supplants, but 
only supplements and strengthens introspection. Experi- 
mental psychology is not, therefore, as some enthusiasts 
have claimed, a ' new psychology ' ; and experimental 
methods are of value chiefly as they secure the stricter ac- 
curacy of introspection, though secondarily as they aid us 
to infer the consciousness of children and of animals from 
their reactions to artificial stimuli. 

12 Divisions of Psychology 

A preliminary statement must be added concerning the 
recognized divisions of psychology. 1 The modern tendency 
is toward a multiplication and a corresponding subdivision 
of the sciences. The reasons for this progressive subdi- 
viding are not far to seek. The more carefully one studies 
scientific phenomena of any sort, the more inevitable the 
discovery of features, unnoticed in the general survey, 
which mark off one group of facts from others nearly like 
it. So, for instance, branches of study which used to be 
massed together under the heading ' natural history ' were 
later sharply differentiated as botany, zoology and physi- 
ology, and within each of these general branches there are 
now numberless minor groups such as histology, embry- 
ology, cryptogamic botany. 

Psychology is no exception to this rule of progressive 
subdivision. Normal and abnormal psychology, individual 
and social psychology, adult and child psychology, are 
relatively distinct branches of it. Still another distinction, 
not always explicitly recognized, on which this book will 
lay great stress, is that of the psychology of ideas, the 
study of succeeding facts of consciousness without refer- 
ence to conscious selves, and the psychology of selves, that 
is, the study of consciousness as the experience of related 
selves. Fundamental to all these divisions, from the stand- 
point of methods, is still another the division into in- 
trospective and comparative psychology. Introspective 
psychology is the study of one's own consciousness ; and 
its immediate and dominant method is introspection. Com- 
parative psychology is the study of other consciousness 
than one's own. The most important objects of its study 
are the conscious experiences of animals, of children, 
and of primitive men. Its methods are the careful observa- 
tion of the words or actions of the animals and people whom 
it studies, and the inference of the conscious experience 
which underlies these outer manifestations. Such infer- 

1 Cf. Chapter XXIV. 

Divisions of Psychology 13 

ence involves introspection, because it consists in attributing 
one's own experience, under given circumstances, to other 
people ; but this introspection, because imputed to others, 
must be distinguished from the study of one's own con- 

The greater part of this book will be devoted to normal 
introspective psychology ; that is, to the study of the normal 
civilized and adult consciousness ; for a thorough study of 
facts of one's own normal experience is the necessary 
introduction both to the introspective study of one's own 
abnormal experience and to the comparative study of the 
consciousness of other human beings. 






MY first concern as psychologist is the accurate analysis 
of my consciousness. For the purposes of this introspec- 
tive analysis, I may seize upon any experience. I am 
looking out from my window, let us say, upon Gloucester 
harbor and the open sea beyond, happily conscious of 
wooded shores, rippling blue waves, cloudy horizon, white 
sails and salty breeze ; and the dory moored to the lichen- 
grown rock in the foreground has dimly suggested last 
evening's sail and the sunset light over the harbor. In 
this conscious experience, I at once recognize blueness, 
greenness, grayness, brownness, saltiness and rippling 
sound as parts of the experience. Closer scrutiny will 
add to the list distance and form, motion (of the breeze), 
and further, the red, the gold and the motor sensations 
which belong to the image of the sunset sail. Even now 
the analysis is far from complete ; it has left out of account 
the pleasantness of the whole experience and the feeling 
of familiarity which accompanies the memory of the sail. 
This superficial treatment is, however, merely preliminary 
to the accurate analysis of the psychologist : the experi- 
ence is to be scrutinized carefully, in the hope of discover- 
ing other elements which have so far eluded introspective 
recollection ; each one of the apparent ' elements ' is then 
c 17 

1 8 Visual Sensations 

to be studied experimentally, and to be further analyzed if 
that is possible ; the results of the analysis are finally to 
be classified and so far as possible explained. Following 
out this scheme, we shall study the elements of conscious- 
ness in the order already suggested, beginning with the 
consideration of colors : 


Every seeing person knows what blue or green or red 
or yellow is, yet nobody can describe any one of these 
experiences. If I ask you, for example, "What is blue?" 
you find yourself utterly incapable of defining it, that is, 
of giving its meaning in other terms, and you are reduced 
to saying helplessly, " Why blue is blue; it is itself and 
nothing besides itself." Our inability to define these color 
experiences is a proof that they are elements of conscious- 
ness. A definition is an enumeration of the attributes of 
that which is defined ; and to define anything, it is there- 
fore necessary to analyze it into its attributes. But an 
element is precisely that part of any fact which is irredu- 
cible and unanalyzable. So the discovery that an experi- 
ence cannot be defined is equivalent to the assertion that it 
is an element of consciousness. If blue were made up of 
any simpler experiences it would not be an element, and 
on the other hand, just because it is an element, we cannot 
analyze and define it. We shall later show 1 that the color- 
elements belong to the class of ' sensational qualities ' ; but 
for the present we shall merely appropriate, without ex- 
planation, the terms 'sensational' and 'quality.' 

Very naturally we now inquire, How many of these 
indescribable and irreducible color-elements can we find 
in our experience ? And here, at the very outset of our 
psychological quest, we are met by a concrete illustration 
of the difficulty of introspection. For very different opin- 

1 Cf. Chapter VIII., p. 103. 

Sensational Elements of Color 19 

ions are held, by close and good observers, on a question 
apparently so simple as this of the number of color- 
elements. The two most important of these theories will 
be outlined, 

The first is the view that there are four, and only four, 
sensational color-elements red, yellow, green and blue. 
According to this theory, neither red, yellow, green nor 
blue can be analyzed into any other colors ; red is not a 
mixture of yellow with green or blue, nor a compound of 
any color with gray ; and yellow, blue and green are 
equally unanalyzable. And on the other hand all other 
colors, except just these four, are analyzable into two of 
the principal or primary colors with or without colorless 
light sensations. The second theory holds that there are 
just as many elemental colors as distinguishable color ex- 
periences. It thus enormously enlarges our stock of con- 
scious elements, for there is little doubt that we distinguish 
more than thirty thousand colors : one hundred and fifty 
spectral colors including the red, green, blue and yellow 
already named and many such 'hues' as orange and 
green-blue ; and thousands of * tints,' such as pink, lav- 
ender and sky-blue, and shades, such as wine-color and 
navy-blue. Upholders of the many-color-element theory 
admit that any sensational element of color may be occa- 
sioned by a mixture of colored lights : for example, orange 
by a mixture of red and yellow lights ; and that a tint is 
occasioned by a mixture of colored with colorless light, for 
example, pink by a mixture of red and white light : but 
they insist that the color as experienced, the feeling ex- 
cited by the mixture of lights, is simple and irreducible : 
for example, that pink is just pink, and is not rightly 
describable as ' red and white.' 

Each of these theories has the merit of clearness and 
simplicity. The first regards every color experience as 
complex, except the four primary color-qualities of red, 
green, yellow and blue. The second considers every 
color without exception as elemental experience. In the 

2O Visual Sensations 

opinion of the writer, the second of these theories, the 
hypothesis of many color-elements, is, however, untrue to 
introspection, because it treats experiences which really are 
analyzable as simple : for example, it designates the hues 
of yellow-green, green-blue and blue-violet, and the tints of 
straw color and sky-blue as elements of consciousness. But 
introspection directly disproves these assertions : yellow- 
green is introspectively analyzable into yellow and green, 
blue-violet into blue and violet, sky-blue into blue and 
white, and in the same way other tints are reducible 
to simpler experiences. The four-color theory, on the 
other hand, seems to the writer to be in accord with 
careful introspection ; and it is easy to explain why it is 
not universally accepted. In the first place, people know 
something of the mixture of pigments, and are therefore 
tempted to mistake a composite stimulus for a complex 
experience and to argue, for example, that the obviously 
elemental color green must be complex, merely because it 
is occasioned by a mixture of blue and yellow pigments. 
Other observers, in the second place, are misled by the fact 
that many complex colors, orange and violet for example, 
have simple instead of complex names, given them with 
the practical purpose of easily designating common objects 
or readily obtainable dye-stuffs. 

Yeiiow Green A simple device, proposed by Pro- 

fessor G. E. Muller, will bring the ele- 
mental nature of red, yellow, green 
and blue and the complexity of all the 
other colors into clearer view. If we 
look at a succession of colors, in the 
spectrum order, we are certain to rec- 
ognize that it is made up of four shorter 
series, red to yellow, yellow to green, 
FlG - x green to blue and blue to red, and that 

the colors on the two sides of each end-term, red, yellow, 
green or blue, differ from it by being like one or other of 
two more of these end-terms. For example, a yellowish 




Sensational Elements of Color 21 

orange differs from a yellow by being more red, whereas a 
yellowish olive differs from a yellow by being more green. 
We rightly, therefore, distinguish between the elemental 
colors, red, yellow, green and blue, and the complex colors, 
each of which is like two of the elements or ' turning-points ' 
of the color-square. 

We must now very carefully notice that these color-ele- 
ments are never actually separate in their occurrence from 
other sorts of experience. One can distinguish the color 
from a whole complex mass of conscious elements, but one 
can never separate it, or seclude it, so as to be conscious, at 
a given moment, of nothing save a color. A color, for 
instance, has always some sort of shape, however vague or 
irregular, and it is impossible to imagine a color which is 
not, to some degree, spread out or extended. Further- 
more, a color is always experienced as more or less mixed 
with colorless light ; and we therefore never see an abso- 
lutely pure or, as it has been called, a ' saturated ' blue or 
red. Most of our colors, indeed, seem to us decidedly 
' unsaturated,' that is to say, they are mixed with a con- 
siderable quantity of colorless light. 

This account of the color elements, brief as it is, sum- 
marizes the important facts of color-experience, from the 
purely introspective point of view. The brevity is not an 
accidental feature of this treatment of the subject, for just 
because an element is simple and unanalyzable it cannot, 
as we have seen, be talked about and described. A com- 
plex phenomenon may be described by analyzing it : for 
example, I may tell you that the killing-stone of a Tannese 
warrior is blue, oblong and pointed, smooth and sharp. 
But I can never describe to you the nature of blue or sharp ; 
I can only, as it were, challenge you to experience what 
my words suggest. If you are blind or deaf or otherwise 
defective, then no amount of description will make you 
know all these elements of consciousness. 

Our purposes as scientific psychologists are, however, 
unfulfilled. We have still before us the tasks of classifica- 

22 Visual Sensations 

tion and explanation. From the purely psychological or 
introspective standpoint, that is, without reference either to 
physiological or to physical facts, we can classify the color- 
elements, as a group, by the observation that they seem to 
us like each other, in a sense in which no one of them is 
like any other experience. Green, for instance, appears to 
us like red and blue and yellow, but unlike sour and hot. 
But introspection fails to distinguish one color from 
another according to any principle ; and it does not in any 
way explain a color-element. Explanation, therefore, and 
further classification must be sought among the physiologi- 
cal and the physical phenomena, which condition the color- 

It will be convenient to begin with a statement of the 
physical stimuli of color-sensations, for there is general 
agreement about them. Sensational elements of color are 
due to vibrations of the ether, an ' incompressible medium 
of extreme tenuity and elasticity ' which is supposed to 
pervade all space and to penetrate within the molecules of 
material substances. So impalpable a material has never 
been actually observed, but its existence is hypothetically 
assumed, because it offers the only plausible explanation 
of many physical phenomena. Because the ether pervades 
all bodies, it must be thrown into motion by their vibrating 
molecules, and its periodic, transverse vibrations are 
assumed to be the physical stimuli which condition the 
sensational qualities of color. Thus the colors vary accord- 
ing to the number of ether vibrations in a given time. 
The slowest vibrations, about 450 billion each second, con- 
dition the retinal process which accompanies the sensa- 
tional quality ' red ' ; and the swiftest vibrations, about 780 
billion each second, form the physical stimulus to ' violet.' 
The following table includes these figures for five colors, 
naming also the length of the ether-waves, that is, the 
distance from wave to wave. It is evident that the longer 
the waves, the smaller the number which can be propagated 
in a given time : 

Sensational Elements of Color 23 



Red () 450 billions 687 + millionths of a millimeter 

Yellow (Z)) 526 " 588+ " " 

Green (E) 589 526 

Blue (F) 640 484 

Violet (H) 790 " 392+ " 

It should be borne in mind, that each sensation-quality 
may be occasioned by ether vibrations varying, in rapidity 
and in length of wave, within a relatively wide range. For 
example ' red ' accompanies an ether vibration varying be- 
tween 450 and 475 billion vibrations ; and 780 billion vi- 
brations, as well as 790, might be the physical stimulus to 
a sensation of violet. When this difference of vibration 
numbers becomes considerable, there results a complex, 
retinal process and the sensational consciousness of what 
is sometimes known as a ' hue/ The vibration number, for 
example, of the hue called peacock lies between the 589 
billion of the green light and the 640 billion of the blue. 

We must now consider the physiological conditions of the 
color consciousness, and we shall set out from a study of 
the structure of the eye. Roughly speaking, it is a sort of 
spherical camera obscura ; but instead of a plate which 
moves backward and forward according as objects are 
nearer to the lens or farther from it, the eye has an im- 
movable plate, the retina, but a compound lens whose re- 
fractiveness (or ability to focus light-rays) changes, so that 
a clear image of nearer or of farther objects may be thrown 
upon its plate, the retina. But we must proceed to amplify 
this preliminary description. The eyeball is a sphere 
moved by six strong muscles. It consists of three membra- 
nous layers, enclosing a series of transparent substances 
the aqueous humor, the crystalline lens and the vitreous 
humor. Each of these is a lens for the refraction of rays 
of light, and together they form a double convex lens. 
The outside layer of the eyeball is formed in part of an 

24 Visual Sensations 

opaque, whitish membrane, the sclerotic (Scl.\ and in part 
of a transparent membrane, the cornea (C.), in shape some- 
what like a watch-glass. The second or middle membrane 
is the choroid(7/.) whose inner layer is colored and whose 
forward portion is the iris (/.), that is, what we know as 
the 'blue' or 'brown' of the eye. Connected with this 
membrane is the complex ciliary muscle (C. P.), whose con- 
traction indirectly lessens the pressure on the crystalline lens, 
thus allowing its forward surface to become more convex. 


FIG. 2. Diagrammatic outline of a horizontal section of the eye, to illustrate the 
relations of the various parts. 

The third or inner membrane, the retina (^.), encloses only 
about three-fourths of the eyeball, terminating in the ciliary 
muscle. The retina is the part of the eye most significant 
in vision, lying back of the lenses and corresponding, as 
we have seen, to the sensitive plate of a camera. It is com- 
posed, throughout most of its extent, of ten layers, mem- 
branous, cellular and fibrous. Of these, the most important 
are the layer (9) of the rods and cones, the part of the 
eye which is most directly concerned in vision, and the 

The Eye 


layer (2) formed by nerve fibres ramifying in all directions 
from the optic nerve (O. N. in Figure 2). This nerve, which 
pierces the sclerotic and 
choroid membranes from 
the rear, enters the retina 
at a spot devoid of other 9 
retinal elements, and this 
spot, as experiments 
show, 1 is unaffected by 
the light. Outward from 
this ' blind spot,' in the 
centre of a colored yellow 
spot (the macula lutea\ 
there is a little pit or de- 
pression (t\\Q fovea, f. c.) 
in which the retina has 
thinned so that light more 
directly affects the cones, 
which here appear in un- 
usual numbers with few or 
no rods among them. The 
eye is, in fact, a compli- 
cated mechanism con- 
structed, apparently, for 
the sole purpose of focuss- 
ing light-waves on its 
retina. The rays of 
light from an object 
are refracted by the 
lenses of the eye, pierce 
through the inner layers 
of the retina, and ex- 
cite the rod and cone 
layer. The activity of 
rods and cones stimulates the optic nerve, and the optic 

FIG. 3. A section through the retina from 
its anterior or inner surface, i, in contact 
with the hyaloid membrane, to its outer. 
10, in contact with the choroid. I, internal 
limiting membrane; 2, nerve-fibre layer; 
3, nerve-cell layer ; 4, inner molecular 
layer ; 5, inner granular layer ; 6, outer mo- 
lecular layer; 7, outer granular layer; 8, 
external limiting membrane; 9, rod and 
cone layer ; 10, pigment-cell layer. 

1 For experiments, cf. Sanford, " Experimental Psychology," 113 and 114. 

26 Visual Sensations 

nerve, in turn, transmits this excitation to the visual area, 
that is, the occipital lobes of the brain. 

There is every reason to adopt this conclusion, that retinal 
excitation conditions the consciousness of colors. It is 
furthermore probable that the retinal processes which oc- 
casion sensations of color, have to do with the cones of the 
retina, not with the rods. The reasons for this hypothesis, 
which has been recently urged by Mrs. Christine Ladd 
Franklin and by Professor J. von Kries, 1 are the following : 
in the first place, the stimulation of the outer circumference, 
or periphery, of the retina, where no retinal cones are found, 
excites a sensation not of color, but of gray. For example, 
if I steadily look straight before me and somebody else 
moves a scarlet pencil from the right, so that the image of 
it at first falls on the outer edges of my retina, the pencil 
will seem gray or black until it is almost directly in front 
of my eye. In the second place, the purest color-sensa- 
tions follow upon the stimulation of the fovea of the retina, 
the depression which contains only cones or, at most, few 

Up to this point, however, we have merely assigned the 
physiological conditions of the color-consciousness in gen- 
eral. But we are in search of a physiological explanation 
of each of the color-elements or, at least, of the most im- 
portant color-elements. And at this point, it must frankly 
be confessed, physiology has only a series of guesses or 
hypotheses to offer. Nothing whatever is positively known 
of the nature of retinal activity; whether, for example, it 
is chemical or electrical; and nothing is certainly known 
of the special retinal processes which occasion the different 
colors. We shall, however, briefly mention two theories 
of the retinal conditions of sensations of color. 

The first of these is that of Professor Ewald Hering. He 
supposes that there are in the retina three chemical sub- 
stances, each of which is capable of two opposed processes, 

1 Cf. Appendix, Section III., I. 

Retinal Processes 27 

decomposition and recomposition, as they may be called. 
The decomposition, or katabolic process, of one of the 
substances occasions, Hering supposes, the sensational 
consciousness of red ; and the recomposition of the same 
substance excites the sensational quality green. In the 
same way, the two processes of a second retinal substance 
excite sensations of yellow and of blue. The opposed pro- 
cesses of the third substance occasion sensations of white 
and of black. 

The second theory is that of Mrs. Franklin, who sup- 
poses that different sensational elements of color are ex- 
cited by the different ways in which the molecules, of a 
photo-chemical substance in the retinal cones, are decom- 
posed. In more detail, the theory supposes that each com- 
pletely developed color-molecule consists of four parts, of 
which each is fitted to vibrate to one only of the color 
stimuli, blue, yellow, red and green light. 

Neither of these theories can profitably be considered 
until we have studied sensations of colorless light and 
their retinal condition, for both theories relate the retinal 
stimulus of color-elements to the retinal stimulus of color- 
less light elements. 1 Both theories are purely hypothetical, 
but, for reasons which will later appear, the Franklin theory 
is to be preferred. 2 We return therefore to the general 
conclusion already reached : The different sensational ele- 
ments of color are physiologically conditioned by retinal 
processes, probably connected with the cones of the retina. 

The retinal processes are not, of course, the immediate 
physiological conditions of sensational elements of color. 
But the retinal processes excite the optic nerve, and the 
optic nerve conveys these excitations to the so-called 
visual area, namely, the occipital lobes of the brain. 8 The 
immediate physiological condition of color-sensations is 
the excitation of cells in this part of the brain. There 

i Cf. page 36. 

3 Cf. page 41, and Appendix, Section III., I. 

Cf. Appendix, Section I., I. 

28 Visual Sensations 

are several proofs of this : in the first place, a person may 
be conscious, while imprisoned in a darkened room, of 
most vividly colored sunsets or flowers or costumes. In 
this case, it is evident that the retina is unaffected by the 
ether-waves, so that retinal processes cannot be essential 
to sensations of color. This conclusion has been verified 
also by experiment. When the optic nerve is severed, 
however perfect the eyeball and the retina, no stimulus 
can bring about visual sensations. Experiment has also 
made it highly probable that excitation of the optic nerve 
is not an essential condition of visual sensations, for 
physiologists have established the fact that the different 
nerve-fibres, optic, auditory and so on, are exactly alike; 
evidently, therefore, the different sensations of color, sound 
and the like cannot be conditioned by excitation of these 
undistinguished fibres. 

We return, therefore, to the conclusion that excitation of 
brain-cells, in the occipital lobes, is the immediate physio- 
logical condition of sensations of color. But we must 
remark that the brain-cells are excited originally, by 
stimulations conveyed by the optic nerve from the retina. 
We should never have color-sensations, however perfect 
our occipital brain-lobes, if our retinae had never been 
stimulated by ether-waves. But when the occipital lobes 
have been thus excited from without, they may later be 
excited, without external stimulus, by a radiation of energy 
from other brain-centres. 1 


From the study of the elemental qualities of color, we 
must turn to the consideration of the sensational elements 
of colorless light. It is at once evident that these are 
unanalyzable experiences, distinct from any one of the 
sensational color-qualities. But again it is very difficult 

1 Cf. Appendix, Section I., I. 

Sensational Elements of Colorless Light 29 

to assure ourselves, by introspection, how many kinds 
there are of elemental colorless light experiences. The 
writer of this book inclines to the opinion that there are 
three such elemental qualities, white, black and gray, and 
that only one intensity belongs with white, as with black, 
whereas numberless intensities are combined with the 
gray. 1 On this view, there is no such thing as an intenser 
or a less intense white, or an intenser or a less intense 
black, whereas there may be any number of brighter or 
duller grays than any given gray ; and a very light gray 
resembles a dark gray but does not resemble a white in 
quality, whereas it is more like the white than like the 
dark gray in intensity. 

This conclusion must be distinguished from four other 
theories of colorless light consciousness. One of these 
teaches that there are as many elemental qualities of color- 
less light as there are distinguishable kinds of colorless 
light, and that, just as red is a different sensational element 
from yellow, so one gray is distinct, as a sensation-quality, 
not only from white and black, but from every other dis- 
tinguishable gray. Another theory supposes that there 
are two colorless light sensations, white and black, and 
that gray is a complex color-experience, analyzable into 
white and black. According to a third theory, black is a 
sensational element which is no more closely related to 
white and gray than to red or yellow or green. The last 
of these theories teaches that there is but one quality of 
colorless light, namely gray, and that this is combined 
with numberless intensities or degrees of brightness. Such 
a hypothesis means nothing less than this, that the term, 
1 gray ' covers the whole series of visual experiences from 
white through gray to black ; so that white is simply ' very 
light gray ' and black ' very dark gray.' 

It must be admitted that it is hard to choose between 
these five views. Yet on the whole, introspection seems 

i Cf. p. 67. 

30 Visual Sensations 

to decide against the four last outlined. The theory of 
an indefinite number of colorless light elements is contra- 
dicted by the fact that the different grays really seem like 
each other, instead of being distinct as green is from blue 
or yellow from red. The theory of two colorless light 
sensations, white and black, is opposed by the fact that 
gray does not really look like either white or black. Of 
course, this is exactly the point at issue, and one may easily 
be mistaken in introspection. Nevertheless, the writer 
of this book inclines to the view, (i) that one calls gray like 
black and white, merely because one knows by experience 
that the mixture of white and black lights gives gray, and 
(2) that the consciousness of gray is really distinct from 
the sensational elements, white and black, and not redu- 
cible to them. The third theory, that black is as different 
from white aria gray as from red, yellow, green and blue, 
also seems to the writer to contradict plain introspection. 

For the same general reason, one may reject the last of 
these theories that of a single colorless light impression, 
gray for white and black do seem distinct from gray. 
Against this result of introspection, the upholders of the 
one-element theory urge the following fact, that it is pos- 
sible, at any time, to make either a supposed ' white ' or a 
supposed ' black ' look gray by contrasting it with a whiter 
white or a blacker black : for example,xme names the sheet 
on which one is writing ' white ' until the sun falls upon 
it, when immediately it appears no longer white but 
very light gray ; and a surface of ebonized wood which 
seemed black at first, grows obviously gray if placed 
against a black velvet background. 1 Now there is no 
question that this is an accurate description of the facts ; 
but these facts certainly do not prove that the black or 
white surface, which grows to look gray by contrast with 
another hue, looked gray not white or black in the 
first place. On the contrary, we must suppose that the very 

1 For experiments, cf. Sanford, 140 a. 

Sensational Elements of Colorless Light 31 

same object, the white paper or the ebonized wood, excites 
different physiological processes, and thus different con- 
scious states, under different circumstances. 1 We come 
back, therefore, after study of the four theories, the theory 
of innumerable colorless light qualities, the theory of two 
colorless light qualities, white and black, the hypothesis 
that black does not belong at all to the white-gray series, 
and finally, the theory of a single colorless light quality, 
to our original conclusion that there are three qualities, 
white, gray and black, and that many intensities may be 
combined with the gray. 

It will be well, before going on to study the conditions 
of the colorless light consciousness, to summarize the dif- 
ferent sorts of visual sensation and visual fusion : 2 not 
merely the elemental colors and 
the colorless light sensations, but 
the simplest fusions, as we may 
call them, of elemental colors 
with each other, and with white, 
gray and black. Visual sensa- 
tions and fusions are most simply 
represented by a color pyramid, 
which, as Titchener reminds us, 3 
is a purely psychological (not 
physical or physiological) con- 
struction. The base represents 
the most saturated colors 
those least mixed with white, 
gray or black. Its rectangu- 
lar form suggests the fact that the red, yellow, green 
and blue are, as has been shown, turning-points in 
the color series. The dotted vertical, WB, represents the 
white gray black. Toward white, the surface of the 
pyramid represents the pale greens, straw-yellows, sky- 

1 Cf. Appendix, Section III, p. 475. 

2 Cf. Ch. XIII, p. 158. 

1 Experimental Psychology, Qualitative, Instructor's Manual, p. 5. 

FIG. 4. 

32 Visual Sensations 

blues and pinks; toward black, the indigo-blues, the 
browns, the reds and the greens are represented. "All 
these tones," to quote Titchener again, " are the most satu- 
rated possible, the most coloured colours of their kind, but 
if we peel the figure (like an onion), leaving the black and 
white poles untouched, we get precisely what we had 
before, save that all the colour tones are less saturated, lie 
so much nearer to the neutral tones." All told color-ele- 
ments, colorless light elements, color-fusions, such as 
olive and peacock, tints, such as pink and sky-blue, and 
shades, such as indigo the color-pyramid represents more 
than 30,000 color-elements and fusions. 

From this introspective study, we shall go on as before 
to consider the physical and the physiological conditions 
of the consciousness of colorless light. Each sensation- 
quality of color, as has been stated, is physically condi- 
tioned by ether-waves of a single rate of vibration. There 
is no one physical stimulus to the consciousness of color- 
less light, but, on the other hand, three methods of bring- 
ing it about. In the first place, it is occasioned by an 
equal mixture of ether-waves of all lengths, and thus of 
all vibration rates. This is shown, experimentally, in many 
ways. The spectral colors, if united upon one spot, give 
a gray surface ; and a disk containing nearly equal sectors 
of each of the colors, blue, green, red and yellow will 
appear gra^ if so swiftly rotated that all four stimulate 
the same part of the retina at one time. 1 The sensation of 
colorless light may also be excited by a mixture of two 
colored lights, which are then called complementary color- 
stimuli. Thus, blue and yellow light, or purple and green, 
or red and bluish green, combined in equal quantities, ex- 
cite the sensation of colorless light. 1 And finally, there are 
certain cases in which sensations of colorless light are 
obtained, without any combination of color lights, through 
one color-stimulus only. There are four important cases 

1 For experiments, cf. Sanford, 148 c. and 149 ; Titchener, " Experimental 
Psychology," Students' Manual, Qualitative, 8. 

Sensational Elements of Colorless Light 33 

in which colored objects seem colorless, and we must care- 
fully consider them. 

In the first place, the excitation by any color-stimulus 
of very small extents of the retina, excites a colorless light 
sensation. This is shown by the every-day observation that 
distant objects lose their color. The second case is that 
of color-stimulation in faint light. As the proverb has it, 
" in the night all cats are gray." All objects lose their 
color when seen in faint light. The third case is that in 
which the peripheral parts of the retina, that is, the parts 
farthest from its centre, are stimulated. If a small colored 
object (like a half-inch square of paper glued to the end 
of a long strip of gray card) be brought toward the field 
of vision from either side, while one eye is closed and the 
other firmly fixated on something directly in front of the 
face, it will be found that the colored square at first seems 
gray, and that it is seen in its true color, only as it ap- 
proaches the centre of the eye. Only careful experiment, 
with the use of a perimeter, may ' map out ' the exact 
retinal fields for different colors, but every one may prove 
to himself the color-blindness of the outer rims of the 
retina ; and this means that here any color-stimulus is 
accompanied by a sensation, not of color, but of gray. 1 

Fourth, and finally, we have the cases of actual color- 
blindness. These we shall consider in more detail, since 
the experience is not so common as the other three. There 
are probably, roughly speaking, five types of color-blind 
people : four classes of the partially color-blind, to whom 
red, green, blue or yellow seems gray, and the totally 
color-blind, to whom all colors seem gray. Dalton, for 
example, one of the first to describe the phenomena of 
color-blindness, could hardly distinguish his red academic 
gown from the grass on which he had thrown it. The 
first two forms of color-blindness are much the most 
common, and only rare cases of the other types have 

1 For experiments, cf. Sanford, 137, a ; Titchener, 9. 

34 Sensational Elements of Colorless Light 

been found. 1 Color-blindness is tested, not, of course, by 
trying to discover whether names of colors are correctly 
used, but by rinding out whether, from a mass of differently 
colored objects, the person who is being tested can distin- 
guish all the colors. In actual tests, for instance, made 
by the Holmgren method, a pile of worsted skeins in about 
one hundred different shades is placed before the subject, 
who is directed to put together different shades of one 
color. Under these circumstances, the man who is red- 
blind heaps together with the grays all reds which are not 
yellowish, while he places all greens which are not bluish 
with the yellows; and the green-blind person confuses 
greens with grays, and reds with yellows, in a similar way. 2 
All these are cases, as has been so often repeated, 
in which the physical condition of the consciousness of 
colorless light, is any one color-stimulus, instead of a com- 
bination of stimuli. In other words, this, like the contrast 
experience, 3 is a fact of consciousness which cannot be ex- 
plained by any merely physical stimulus. For two distinct 
kinds of physical phenomena, the combination of color- 
stimuli and the single stimulus, are followed by one and 
the same conscious phenomenon, the sensation of colorless 
light ; and, on the other hand, one physical phenomenon, 
a single color-stimulus, conditions now a sensation of color, 
and now a sensation of colorless light. 

To account for the peculiarities and to find what we are 
seeking, an explanation of the colorless light sensation, we 
must, therefore, study no longer its physical, but its physi- 
ological conditions. Such a study must be purely hypo- 
thetical. Actual observation of the histological structure 
or of the chemical constitution of the retina is, as we have 
seen, almost utterly wanting. Accordingly, there has been 
wide scope for theoretical constructions, and a considera- 

1 Cf. Appendix, Section III., II. 2 For experiments, cf. Sanford, 135. 
8 Cf. p. 30, and Appendix, Section III., II. 

The Young-Helmholtz Theory 35 

tion of some of these will be of use to us. It will of neces- 
sity include a reference to the theories, already considered, 
of color-qualities : 

Chronologically first is the Young-Helmholtz theory, 
independently formulated by an Englishman, Thomas 
Young, and by the great German scientist, Hermann von 
Helmholtz. So far as it relates to sensational elements of 
color, this theory is very general, simply holding that there 
are three retinal elements or processes whose excitation 
respectively conditions three color-sensations, red, green 
and violet. The important part of the theory is its ex- 
planation of sensations of colorless light as due simply to 
the combination in equal degrees of these three color-pro- 
cesses. Evidently this is a reasonable explanation of the 
cases in which a mixture of ether-waves of all lengths con- 
ditions the consciousness of colorless light. The Young- 
Helmholtz theory also explains, in the following manner, 
the excitation of colorless light sensations through the 
mixture of "only two color-stimuli: ether vibrations of a 
given rate tend to set up in the retina not only the pro- 
cesses specifically corresponding with them, but also those 
which correspond with proximate vibration numbers. So 
blue light excites the retinal process which conditions the 
sensation-quality green, as well as that which accompanies 
blue ; and yellow light stimulates the processes for red as 
well as for yellow. Therefore the combination of two 
complementary color-stimuli produces the same effect, 
physiologically, as the combination of all the color-stimuli. 
The specific physical condition of the sensation-qualities 
of colorless light is thus such a mixture of ether-waves as 
will stimulate simultaneously and nearly equally all physi- 
ological color-processes. 

It may be questioned whether the explanation just given 
of the excitation of colorless light, through the mixture of 
two complementary color-stimuli, is in full agreement with 
the facts. There is reason, on the other hand, to think 
that the third process inferred by the theory would be in- 

36 Theories of Color and Colorless Light 

sufficiently excited. We need not, however, discuss this 
point, for however adequate its explanation of colorless 
light sensations through combination of stimuli, the 
Young-Helmholtz theory must be rejected on another 
ground: it fails utterly to account for the four cases in 
which a sensation of colorless light follows upon a single 
color-stimulus. It is impossible to suppose that three 
color-processes are aroused when a single color-stimulus 
falls on the outer rim, or on a small part of the retina, 
or when the color-stimulus is very faint. And, finally, the 
theory cannot possibly be reconciled with the fact of color- 
blindness. For in color-blindness one, at least, of the 
normal retinal color-processes is wanting, and there can 
therefore be no combination of three retinal processes. 

A far more satisfactory explanation is that of Hering. 
He holds, as we have seen, that a sensational quality of 
color is physiologically due to the activity of one of two 
antagonistic processes of some retinal substance. Of these 
retinal substances, he believes that there are three, each of 
them capable of an anabolic, that is, assimilative or ' build- 
ing up ' process ; and of a katabolic, that is, destructive or 
1 tearing down ' process. To these six processes corre- 
spond the sensations of red, yellow, blue, green, white and 
black, whose exact relations may be seen by the following 
summary : 


r Anabolic Green 


[ Katabolic Red 

f Anabolic Blue 


[ Katabolic Yellow 

f Anabolic Black 

White-black J 

[ Katabolic White 

In explanation of this summary, it must be stated explic- 
itly that Hering's expressions 'red-green,' 'blue-yellow,' 

The Her ing Theory 37 

and 'white-black/ do not refer to the appearance of the 
retinal substances. Indeed, these substances have never 
been actually observed, for the theory is purely hypotheti- 
cal. By ' white-black substance,' therefore, Hering merely 
means ' an inferred retinal substance whose opposite ac- 
tivities result in the sensations of white and black.' It 
follows that the katabolic process of the white-black sub- 
stance excites sensations of white; the anabolic process 
excites sensations of black ; an equilibrium between the two 
processes occasions a sensation of middle gray ; and an 
unequal combination of the two processes excites sensa- 
sations of light or dark gray. Hering teaches, further- 
more, that the white-black substance is excited by every 
light-stimulus and that it is more widely spread than the 
color-substances over the surface of the retina. The sen- 
sation of colorless light is, therefore, excited either through 
the activity of the ' white-black ' retinal substance, when 
antagonistic color-processes have destroyed each other by 
simultaneous action ; or through the activity of the white- 
black substance in parts of the retina where the red-green 
and blue-yellow substances are wanting. 1 

This will become clearer if we consider, one by one, all 
the ways in which the sensation of colorless light can be 
excited. Hering first explains the excitation of colorless 
light consciousness through combination of two color- 
stimuli. When, for example, blue and yellow light fall 
simultaneously on the retina, the blue tends to set the 
blue-yellow substance into anabolic activity, whereas the 
yellow tends equally to stimulate the katabolic activity of 
the blue-yellow substance. These opposite processes can- 
cel each other ; and so equilibrium is maintained and the 
blue-yellow substance, equally stimulated in two oppo- 
site directions, remains inactive, whereas the white-black 
process, as has been said, is always active. It follows that 
in the inactivity of the blue-yellow substance only sensa- 

lu Zur Lehre vom Lichtsinne," E. Hering, Vienna, 1878, 28, p. 81. 

38 Theories of Color and Colorless Light 

tions of colorless light result ; and the combination of red 
and green lights must have a similar effect. It is easy to 
explain, after the same fashion, the excitation of colorless 
light sensations through the combination of ether-waves 
of all lengths, for this would amount to the combination 
of two pairs of complementary color-stimuli, red, green, 
blue and yellow lights, and would result in two balanced 
processes. Both color-substances would thus remain in- 
active, and the constantly active processes of the white- 
black substance would, as before, excite the sensational 
experience of colorless light. 

There remain those cases, on which the Helrnholtz theory 
was wrecked, of the consciousness of colorless light through 
one color-stimulus only. The superiority of the Hering 
theory appears most strongly at just this point. His ex- 
planations are based on the assumptions, already stated, 
that the white-black substance is found in all parts of the 
retina and that every light-stimulus, colorless or colored, 
excites it. In accordance then with his hypothesis, Hering 
supposes (i) that sensations of colorless light arise when 
small extents of the retina are excited by a single color- 
stimulus, because the stimulation of such small amounts of 
the red-green or blue-yellow substance is not sufficient to 
rouse it to activity, whereas the ever active white-black 
substance is excited by even a color-stimulus ; (2) that the 
excitations in faint light are not intense enough to affect 
a color-substance, but do excite the sensitive white-black 
substance; (3) that stimulation of the retinal periphery by 
color-stimuli excites only sensations of colorless light because 
only the white-black substance is found on the periphery 
of the retina. Hering teaches finally (4) that a color-stimu- 
lus excites a sensation of colorless light, when the subject 
is color-blind, because the retina of a color-blind person is 
lacking in one or both color-substances, so that the color- 
stimulus affects only the easily excited white-black sub- 

Hering has certainly, therefore, furnished a plausible 

Franklin and Von Kries Theories 39 

explanation for sensations of colorless light, whether con- 
ditioned by single stimulus or by a combination. But 
though his theory is far more satisfactory than that of 
Helmholtz, there are certain difficulties in the way of it. 
We have named the most general of these difficulties, the 
fact that the theory is purely hypothetical and that no 
histological study of the eye has discovered any trace of 
one of these retinal substances. In the second place, the 
conception of consciousness as conditioned by an assimila- 
tive bodily process directly runs athwart physiological 
analogy. For the assimilative bodily processes, by which 
nerve-cells constantly take up into themselves materials 
from the outside world, are known to be processes which 
are unaccompanied by consciousness. The hours of 
dreamless sleep, for example, are a period of assimila- 
tion, but also of unconsciousness. The assumption of 
Hering that black, green and blue are conditioned by 
assimilative bodily processes loses sight of the probability 
that not assimilation, the formation of more complex com- 
pounds, but dissimilation, the decomposition of chemical 
compounds and consequent liberation of energy, is the 
physiological concomitant of consciousness. 

There are other objections to the Hering theory, too 
technical to be considered in this chapter. 1 We shall 
proceed at once to outline two other theories concerning 
the physiological conditions of colorless light sensations. 
These theories, that of C. L. Franklin and of von Kries, 
have been referred to already in the description of color- 
theories. It will be remembered that they explain the 
sensational elements of color red, yellow, green and the 
others as due to the excitation, singly or in unequal com- 
bination, of processes connected with the retinal cones. 
The two theories agree, also, in the teaching that colorless 
light impressions result, first, when the retinal cones are 
excited by an equal combination of two or more color- 

1 Cf. Appendix, Section IH, 

40 Theories of Color and Colorless Light 

stimuli, and second, when the rods of the retina are excited 
by a single color-stimulus. The second part of this teach- 
ing is the characteristic feature of it, and strong argu- 
ments may be urged in its favor. In the first place, it 
furnishes a satisfactory account of facts which the Young- 
Helmholtz theory failed to explain, the different cases, 
namely, of colorless light consciousness, through a single 
color-stimulus. These, as will be remembered, are four : 
faint light consciousness, peripheral stimulation, excitation 
of small extents of the retina and color-blindness. C. L. 
Franklin and von Kries suppose in the first case that the 
rod-processes are excitable by intensities fainter than those 
required to excite the cones ; in the second case, they refer 
to the established fact that only rods are found in the 
periphery of the retina ; in the third place, they suppose 
that the cone-process is insufficiently stimulated; and 
finally, they assume that the color-blind eye lacks one or 
two or all retinal processes connected with the cones. 

So far, however, these theories have no advantage over 
the Hering hypothesis, for that also sufficiently explains 
the colorless light sensations through one color-stimulus. 
But the von Kries and Franklin theories have the great 
added advantage of corresponding accurately with the 
observed anatomical constitution of the retina. The first 
of these correspondences has already been noted, the fact 
that the outer edge or periphery of the retina contains 
rods and no cones. Thus, every color-stimulus which falls 
on the periphery of necessity affects the rods. But there 
is another argument, from actual observation, for these 
theories. It has long been known that the human retina 
and that of many invertebrate animals contains a purplish 
substance known as 'visual purple.' This substance is 
found in the retinal rods and not in the cones ; and the 
experiments of Professor Arthur Kb'nig have established, 
first, that it is affected by lights of different colors at 
different rates ; and second, that these rates correspond 
exactly with the intensities of different colors in faint 

Franklin and Von Kries Theories 41 

light. 1 For example, green, which has the greatest in- 
tensity in faint light, first affects the visual purple, and 
blue light, which has great faint light intensity, next 
quickly affects it. This fact, that the colors which are 
intensest in faint light most quickly bleach the visual 
purple, suggests that the functioning of this retinal sub- 
stance has to do with the consciousness of faint or color- 
less light; and the observation that the visual purple is 
found only on the retinal rods confirms the view that they 
are, as von Kries puts it, an achromatic retinal apparatus, 
definitely connected with the sensational element of color- 
less light. 

Up to this point we have treated the two theories, that 
of C. L. Franklin and that of von Kries, as virtually 
identical. But just as Mrs. Franklin developed, in the 
explanation of the color-consciousness, a more detailed 
hypothesis, so here she amplifies the theory already out- 
lined. In brief, she supposes (i) that sensations of color- 
less light are due to the complete decomposition of a 
photo-chemical substance in either rods or cones ; (2) that 
this substance is chemically simpler in the rods than in 
the cones, so that a single color-stimulus can totally de- 
compose it; (3) that only a combination of two or more 
color-stimuli can completely decompose the substance in 
the cones and so give rise to a colorless light sensation, 
whereas a single color-stimulus partially decomposes this 
substance, thus exciting a color-sensation. A more de- 
tailed account of this theory would involve too many tech- 
nicalities for the present chapter. But in the opinion 
of the writer the underlying hypothesis of the Franklin 
theory, though unsupported by experimental evidence, is 
the most satisfactory which has so far been formulated. 2 

We conclude, therefore, with a brief summary of our 
results. There are probably three elemental colorless 
light qualities, white, black and gray. Their physical 

1 Cf. Appendix, Section III., I. 

42 Colorless Light Sensations 

stimuli are of two kinds, an equal combination of color- 
stimuli, or a single color-stimulus. The retinal conditions 
of the colorless light experiences are not definitely known, 
but it is reasonable to conjecture that, in the first case, the 
retinal cones are excited, very probably with complete 
decomposition of their molecules, and that, in the second 
case, the retinal rods are stimulated. The immediate 
physiological occasion of the colorless light consciousness 
is the excitation, primarily through the optic nerve, of the 
' visual area ' in the occipital lobes of the brain. 


One cannot be conscious of a color, a red or a blue 
for example, or of a colorless light, a white or black or 
gray, without being at the same time conscious of its 
brightness and of its bigness or extensity. The combina- 
tion of these sensational elements, which invariably accom- 
pany each other, is called a sensation. The problem of 
extensity is so complicated and so difficult that we must 
postpone it for a later discussion. 1 We shall, however, at 
once consider the nature of visual intensity or brightness. 
There is no doubt, in the first place, that a brightness, as 
well as a color or a gray, is a distinct and unanalyzable ele- 
ment of consciousness. It cannot, of course, be separated 
from the color or the colorless light with which it is com- 
bined, but it may be perfectly distinguished from it. Some 
psychologists, it is true, have denied the distinctness of 
visual intensity elements, and have instead identified the 
series of brightnesses with the sensational colorless light 
series from black through gray to white. 2 According to 
this view, an intense color is simply a color combined with 
white. But observation shows a striking difference be- 
tween a highly illuminated color for example, a red 
intensely lighted from behind and the same color 'mixed 

i Cf. Chapter VII., p. 89. 2 Cf. Appendix, Section III., II. 

Sensational Elements of Brightness 43 

with gray or white light for example, a lighter red or 
pink. We may, therefore, reaffirm that the visual intensi- 
ties are distinct elements of consciousness. 

The visual intensities are, as every one admits, indefi- 
nite in number. They are furthermore distinguished from 
sensational qualities of color and of colorless light, by their 
capacity for direct and simple serial arrangement. We 
are not yet prepared to discuss in detail the nature of 
what we know as series, but for our present purpose it 
suffices to describe a psychological series as composed of 
successive facts of consciousness, of which each includes 
within itself a feeling of ' more,' that is, of increase. Now, 
in the series of brightnesses each successive feeling of 
' more ' is directly connected with the sensational element 
brightness so that the series may be thus expressed : 
'bright more bright still more bright.' In the series 
of color-elements, on the other hand, the feeling of ' more ' 
attaches itself to a feeling of difference, not directly to a sen- 
sational element of color. The series ' red, yellow, green, 
blue,' cannot therefore be described as 'red more red 
still more red,' but is rather to be described as 

Red 1 .... 

Yellow .... different from red 

f different from yellow 
Green . < 

[_ more different from red 

f different from green 
Blue . . . . J 

[ more different from yellow 

Partly because of their direct serial arrangement, and 
partly because our practical and aesthetic interests are 
concerned only with extremes of intensity, we are not 
interested in naming the brightnesses as we are in nam- 

1 Such a series as ' red, reddish yellow, yellowish green,' etc., is a direct 
series, but not a simple series. Cf. p. 105. 

44 Sensational Elements of Brightness 

ing the colors. For these reasons, the visual intensities 
are estimated by comparison with each other, and not with 
reference to absolute standards. 

Some psychologists have argued that we have no data 
for the physical and the physiological explanation of 
brightnesses, basing their view on the assumption that 
ether-vibrations, retinal processes and cerebral excitation 
are sufficient only to the explanation of sensational quali- 
ties, the colors and the colorless light elements. This as- 
sumption, however, overlooks the fact that, in the case of a 
physiological process, we may distinguish the locality of 
the functioning bodily organ and the degree of its activity. 
Now the colors and the colorless light elements correspond 
with the activity of a substance in the cones or rods of 
the retina, and with the activity of cells in the occipital lobe. 
The brightnesses, therefore, may well correspond with the 
different degrees of the activity of these different organs. 
In a physical process, also, we distinguish the mode and 
the degree of the activity ; and we know experimentally 
that variations of degree in atmospheric vibrations, that 
is to say, differences of amplitude in an atmospheric wave, 
occasion differences in sound-intensity. It is reasonable 
to infer that the visual brightnesses are due to the degree 
of ether-vibrations, or the amplitude of the ether-waves. 

We must now sum up the conclusions of this chapter. 
Within our conscious experience we have found, by intro- 
spection, these three sorts of elemental consciousness : 
(i) the colors : red, yellow, green, blue; (2) the colorless 
light elements: white, gray and black; and (3) the bright- 
nesses, always combined with colors or with colorless 
lights. We have found, also, that white is combined with 
but one intensity and that the same is true of black ; 
whereas numberless intensities may be combined with 

The probable physiological conditions of the color-ele- 
ments are, first, the mode of activity of a substance in the 

Visual Sensations 45 

retinal cones, and second, the mode of activity of cells in 
the occipital lobes of the brain. The physiological con- 
dition of the white, gray and black is the mode of activity 
of rod-substance and of brain-cells. The physiological 
condition of brightnesses is, however, not the mode, but 
the degree, of retinal and of brain activity. 

The physical condition of sensational elements of color 
is the mode of ether-vibration, that is, the length of the 
ether-waves which fall on the retina. The physical con- 
dition of the colorless light consciousness is a combination 
of the ether-waves of all possible wave-lengths. The 
physical condition of visual intensities or brightnesses is, 
in all probability, the degree of the ether-vibration, that is, 
the amplitude of the ether-waves which excite the retina. 



NEXT in prominence to the colors, forms and lights of 
our sense-experience are the sounds human voices, nature 
sounds and musical harmonies. In any complex sound, 
that of rippling waves, for example, tone and noise are 
readily distinguished, but both tone and noise are further 
analyzable. They differ from each other in that the first 
is characterized by pitch, the second by noise-quality ; they 
are alike in that both tones and noises include intensity 
and probably also volume, or extensity. We must go on 
to show just what these terms mean. 


Pitch is the sense-element which characterizes tone. 
Like every element of consciousness, it is indescribable. 
We may say that it is characterized by the terms ' high 
and ' low ' ; and may point out that it is the quality in 
which a soprano voice differs from a contralto, a tenor 
voice from a bass, the C of a musical instrument from the 
G above it. Further than this we cannot go. The search 
for unanalyzable pitch-elements is more difficult than that 
for primary color-qualities. 1 Experimental observation on 
tuning-forks (which give approximately simple tones, not 
analyzable into overtones and fundamentals) has shown 
about eleven thousand tones, said to be distinguishable in 
pitch. These differences, moreover, are continuous, and 
not, like those of many alleged color-elements, mere differ- 
ences between different compounds. For example, the 
difference in pitch between the higher note, D, and the 

1 For experiments, cf. Sanford, 67, 68; Titchener, 12 (i). 

Sensational Elements of Pitch and Noise 47 

lower, C, is a difference between two unanalyzable elements 
of pitch, whereas reddish purple (at least in the opinion of 
many observers) differs from red, as a complex from an 
element. It should be added that individuals and species 
vary greatly in their ability to distinguish very high and 
very low tones. Some people, accordingly, are spoken of as 
deaf to low or to high tones, and some animals hear notes 
inaudible to human beings. Cats, for example, give every 
indication of hearing the high tones of a Galton whistle, 
sounds so high pitched that they are inaudible to us. 

The most characteristic feature of the series of tones, as 
compared with that of colors, is the recurrence of parallel 
series of elements of pitch. These are the octaves, which 
resemble each other as wholes. The series of differently 
pitched tones may, therefore, as has been suggested, be 
symbolized by a spiral, ascending from base to apex, of 
which each curve represents an octave. The study of the 
octave involves, however, a consideration of the interval, 
and the interval is a complex and not an elemental expe- 
rience, so that it is not appropriately discussed in this 

Unlike tone, noise is devoid of pitch. Certain observers, 
it is true, speak of the pitch of a simple noise, but, closely 
observed, anything which has pitch appears to be what we 
mean by tone. 1 Others believe that a noise is merely a 
very complex, and thus an utterly discordant, mixture of 
tones, and that, so far from lacking pitch, it is a confused 
mass of innumerable pitches. Now it is true that what we 
ordinarily know as a noise includes an irregular combina- 
tion of tones of different pitch. 2 If one listen to the com- 
mon-place noises of falling footsteps, rolling wheels and 
clanging bells, holding to one's ear successively a set of 
resonators, each fitted to transmit to the ear only air-waves 
exciting a single pitch, one may assure oneself experimen- 

1 Cf. W. Wundt, " Physiologische Psychologic," 4te Aufl., I., p. 448. 

2 For experiments, cf. Titchener, 12 (2) and (3). 

48 Sensational Elements of Pitch and Noise 

tally that the so-called noise contains differently pitched 
tones. But though containing these discordant tones, this 
mass of sounds probably includes, and is characterized by, 
a certain elemental noise-quality. For if the stimulus to a 
simple tone is continuously varied, so that its pitch becomes 
gradually lower or higher, there will come in each case a 
point of transition to some sensational element, distinguish- 
able from a pitch, which may be named (in lieu of a more 
characteristic designation) a 'noise-quality,' that is, the 
element characteristic of the complex experience, noise. 
It, however, so seldom occurs, in even relative isolation, 
that it often is not even identified by the ordinary observer. 
There is, for this reason, no enumeration of ' primary ' or 
absolutely unanalyzable noise-qualities, like the list, red, 
green, blue, yellow, of primary color-elements. Such 
words as 'snap/ ' puff,' 'thud,' do, however, point to cer- 
tain distinct noise-elements. From the sensibility to differ- 
ences of noise, 553 (alleged) noise-qualities have been 
calculated, but most of these probably are capable of 
analysis, and therefore are not strictly elemental. 

Once more, we shall find it convenient to consider the 
physical, and therefore secondary and remote, conditions of 
pitch and noise-quality, before regarding the more imme- 
diate physiological antecedents. The physical condition 
of sound in general may be described as oscillation of air- 
particles, producing rarefactions and condensations of the 
air. A rarefaction followed by a condensation is called an 
atmospheric wave. Pitch is, in all probability, occasioned 
by a succession of simple and regular atmospheric waves, 
or even by a small portion of a simple atmospheric wave. 1 

1 It is usually held that at least two complete air-waves are necessary to 
excite sensations of tone. Experiments, however, indicate that even a portion 
of a single, simple air-wave excites a sensation of tone, whose pitch corresponds 
to the length of the complete air-wave of which a part only has stimulated the 
ear. Cf. C. R. Cross and M. E. Maltby, " On the Least Number of Vibrations 
Necessary to Determine Pitch," Proc. of the Amer. Acad., 1892, p. 222. 

Physical Conditions 49 

Noise, on the other hand, is probably due to a complex and 
irregular combination of air-waves, that is, to an irregular 
and unperiodic vibration of air-particles. Different quali- 
ties of pitch are found by experiment to correspond to the 
varying length of the atmospheric waves. The swifter the 
atmospheric vibrations, that is, the greater the number and 
the shorter the length of the air-waves in any second of 
time, the higher is the pitch ; and, on the other hand, the 
slower the vibrations, that is, the fewer and longer the air- 
waves of a second, the lower or deeper is the pitch. This 
is the principle on which all stringed instruments are con- 
structed. The shorter strings of the piano are struck to 
produce its higher notes ; and the violinist's finger divides 
his string to obtain from the swifter air-vibrations, propa- 
gated by the motion of each half, a tone an octave higher 
than that produced by the slower vibration of the entire 
length. As, therefore, a definite number of ether-vibra- 
tions corresponds with each experience of color, so each 
pitch has its vibration number : low c, for example (in what 
is called the small octave) is produced, through the 
excitation of nerve-endings and brain-cells, by 128 vibra- 
tions ; and its octave, c', is excited by exactly twice as 
many, or 256 vibrations. 

But these physical phenomena are conditions of sound 
only indirectly, as they bring about neural changes. They 
stimulate nervous end-organs enclosed within the ear, 
whose structure, therefore, we have next to consider. The 
external ear, or concha (M\ reflects the air-waves and air- 
shocks into the hollow tube, or external meatus (G\ which 
is closed by a surface, the tympanic membrane ( 7). This 
is thrown into vibration by the motion of the air-particles, 
and its motion is transmitted to a series of three bones 
called, from their shape, malleus, incus and stapes (that is, 
hammer, anvil and stirrup). These bones lie within the 
drum or middle ear (/>), a hollow in the temporal bone 
from which the Eustachian tube leads to the pharynx. 
The middle ear communicates by two openings with the 

50 Auditory Sensations 

inner ear. Into one of these openings, \heforamen ovale 
or oval window (O), the stapes or stirrup-bone fits closely; 
the other opening, the foramen rotundum (r\ is closed 
merely by a membrane. 

FIG. 5. Semidiagrammatic section through the right ear (Czermak) . 

The inner ear is a set of bony tubes, in the temporal 
bone, with membranous lining throughout. These con- 
sist of a middle chamber, the vestibule ( V\ which divides 
the three semicircular canals from the cochlea (S). The 
canals, however, are almost certainly unconnected with 
phenomena of hearing, and it is doubtful whether the ves- 
tibule has to do with sound-sensations. We are, therefore, 
chiefly concerned with the structure of the cochlea. It is 
in form a spiral, consisting of two and one-half coils around 
a bony axis. From this axis projects a bony shelf, the 
lamina spiralis (Iso in Figure 6) ending in the basilar 
membrane (b). Together, bone and membrane divide 
each spiral into two winding half -coils, the scald tympani 
(ST) and the scala vestibuli (S V). The former opens by 
the round foramen into the middle ear ; the latter is con- 

The Ear 51 

nected with the vestibule. (A third division, the scala 
media (CC)is partitioned off, by a membrane, within the 
scala vestibuli.) 

FIG. 6. Section of one coil of the cochlea, magnified. 

The structure of the basilar membrane is of great im- 
portance for our present study. It consists of cross- 
fibres, varying in length from beginning to apex of the 
cochlea, and carrying nerve-cells. From some of these 
cells, hairs project, and in these same cells ramifications of 
the acoustic nerve have their termination. Other cells sup- 
port the inner and outer ' rods of Corti,' which number 
respectively six thousand and forty-five hundred. They 
are tiny, membranous rods, leaned against each other at 
their upper ends so as to form a sort of arch, and decreas- 
ing in length from base to apex of the spiral. It used 
to be thought that the rods of Corti play the part in our 
ears of strings in a piano, vibrating because of their differ- 
ing length and span with air-waves of different rates. 
Several arguments, however, tell strongly against this view. 
The rods are neither sufficient in number, nor sufficiently 
varied in size, to serve this purpose ; they are not found in 
the auditory end-organs of birds whose ability to discrimi- 
nate pitches can hardly be doubted ; and finally, they are 
not directly connected with the fibres of the auditory nerve, 
which terminate, as has been said, in the hair-cells of the 
basilar membrane. It is possible, therefore, though it is 

52 The Ear 

not certain, that, not the organs of Corti, but the cross- 
fibres of the basilar membrane, which increase in length 
from the bottom of the spiral nearly to the apex, are 
fitted, or tuned as it were, to vibrate with air-waves of all 
different periods. This independent vibration of basilar 
membrane fibres is certainly possible, for though the basi- 
lar membrane is ' tense radially,' it is loose in one direction, 
namely 'longitudinally along the spiral of the cochlea.' 1 
If this view is correct, the vibration of these fibres excites 
some of the sixteen to twenty thousand overlying hair- 
cells, and the hair-cells in turn affect the fibres of the 
auditory nerve. In this case, the rods of Corti and 
the hairs projecting from the hair-cells probably serve, 
like the dampers of a piano, merely to stop the movements 
of the vibrating fibres. 

4' ** 

FIG. 7. The rods of Corti. A, a pair of rods separated from the rest ; B, a 
bit of the basilar membrane with several rods on it, showing how they cover in the 
tunnel of Corti ; i, inner, and e, outer, rods ; b, basilar membrane ; r , reticular 

The outline, which follows, of the process in the ear is, 
in great part, merely tentative. We consider, first, the 
case in which all or part of a simple air-wave, of perhaps 
128 vibrations per second, sets the tympanic membrane in 
motion. This motion is communicated by the bones of the 
middle ear to the membranous covering of the oval fora- 
men, that is, the window opening into the inner ear. The 

1 Cf. Foster, "Text -book of Physiology," Bk. III., Chapter IV., p. 1015. 

Loudness 53 

vibrations of this membrane indirectly set in motion the 
endolymph, a liquid with which the membranous cochlea is 
filled, and the movement of this liquid excites those only of 
the cross-fibres of the basilar membrane whose vibration 
number is either exactly or approximately 128. But, in the 
second place, the tympanic membrane, the ear-bones, and 
the endolymph may be stimulated by a compound and yet 
regular air-wave; in this case several basilar meinbrane 
fibres of varying length will be excited, and the conscious- 
ness of a clang or chord will result, instead of the simple 
sensation. A complex and irregular, or unperiodic, vibra- 
tion may, finally, affect the organs of the ear. To this, the 
fibres of the basilar membrane must respond with an irregu- 
lar movement what has been called a 'twitch/ and the 
sensation which follows is that of noise. 

The cerebral condition both of tone and of noise is, as 
we have seen, the excitation of a temporal lobe of the brain. 
Originally and primarily, this cerebral centre is excited by 
impulses conveyed along the auditory nerve from the basi- 
lar membrane ; but later, the brain-centre may be excited 
from within, so that the music of our reveries and the 
voices of our dreams probably occur without the function- 
ing of end-organs in the ear. 


Another sensational element, loudness or sound-intensity, 
is invariably connected both with pitch and with noise-qual- 
ity. It is, of course, impossible to describe sound-intensity, 
but everybody who can recognize either a tone or a noise 
knows that it may be soft or loud, and that what is called 
its intensity may vary indefinitely, while its pitch or noise 
quality remains the same. For the rest, sound-intensities, 
or loudnesses, are parallel with the color-intensities or 
brightnesses. For they are not well provided with designa- 
tions, they shade gradually into each other, and they are 

54 Sensational Elements of Loudness 

capable of direct serial arrangement : ' loud louder 
still louder.' In these series, the feeling of ' more ' is always 
directly combined with the intensity, whereas in pitch- 
series, which resemble color-series, the tones are succes- 
sively ' more different ' or ' less different ' from each other, 
forming such series as 


D different from C 

Ef different from D 

[ more different from C 

f different from E 
F * J more different from D 

[ still more different from C 

The physiological and physical conditions of sound-inten- 
sities are like those of the color-intensities. The amplitude 
of the air-wave, that is, the extent of vibrations of each air- 
particle, is known to condition the intensity of sound, and 
the greater the movement of each particle, the louder is 
the sound. This is, of course, the principle of the speak- 
ing-tube : the confinement of the air within narrow limits 
prevents radiation of the voice-impetus in many directions, 
and gives greater force to the movement of the fewer par- 
ticles of air. We have also every reason to suppose that 
the degree of nervous excitation both in the end-organs 
and in the brain-centre, or in the cerebral centre alone, is 
the physiological condition of sound-intensities. 

The writer, in common with many psychologists, recog- 
nizes a third factor of sound-sensations, voluminousness, or 
sound-extensity, the element of sounds which distinguishes 
tones of the same pitch and intensity, as played on differ- 
ent instruments. The existence of this element is, how- 
ever, denied by many authorities ; and the discussion of it 
will, therefore, be postponed to the general chapter on the 
consciousness of extensity. 



WE are familiar already with the psychologist's method 
of approaching every experience, the analysis of it into 
its ultimate elements. The method has now to be applied 
to the experiences which we know as tastes. 

The ordinary individual, asked to name what he had 
' tasted ' at dinner, might respond with some such list as 
the following: beef-bouillon, roast duck, potato, onion, 
dressed celery, peach ice and coffee. But the psycholo- 
gist would conclude at once that some of the tastes enu- 
merated were complex experiences, made up of simpler 
elements. And the experimentalist would go further : he 
would take means to isolate, so far as he could, the condi- 
tions of taste, so that other sense-elements should be shut 
out from consciousness. To this end he would select, if 
possible, as subject of the experiments, an anosmic person, 
that is, one without smell-sensations, or else he would close 
the subject's nostrils, so as to eliminate most of these smell- 
sensations ; and he would certainly blindfold the subject, 
to prevent his seeing the articles which he tasted. These 
substances would be presented to him at an even tem- 
perature, and the solids would be finely minced so as to 
be indistinguishable in form. Judging by the results of 
actual experiments, in particular those of Professor G. T. 
W. Patrick, 1 the results of such a test as applied to our 

1 " University of Iowa Studies in Psychology," Vol. II., p. 85, or Psychologi- 
cal Review, 1899, p. 160. 


56 Sensationl Elements of Taste 

suggested m^nu, would be the following : the blindfolded 
and anosmic subject would as likely as not suppose that 
he had tasted chicken broth, beef, potato, an unknown 
sweetish substance, another unknown material mixed with 
a thick tasteless oil, a sweet unflavored substance and a 
slightly bitter liquid perhaps a dilute solution of quinine. 
A normal person, also blindfolded, but without closed nos- 
trils, would recognize the onion, the peach, the coffee and 
often the olive oil ; but would be as likely to confuse the 
beef and the duck ; whereas, if these were unsalted, the 
anosmic subject would fail to recognize them even as meats. 
Certain substances, on the other hand, for instance, the 
different sorts of bread, of white, graham and rye flours, 
would be better discriminated by the anosmic subject. 

These results are easy of interpretation. What we know 
as the different tastes are complex experiences, made up 
of odors, motor experiences, pressure and pain sensations, 
visual elements and a far more limited number of taste- 
elements than we ordinarily suppose. The odor is the 
significant element in such ' tastes ' as egg, milk, fruit, 
wine, onion, chocolate, coffee and tea. Tea and coffee 
are, indeed, undistinguished from quinine, when the odor- 
elements are excluded, and are differentiated from each 
other only by the slight astringency of the tea, that is, by 
the peculiar pressure-experience, the * puckering,' which 
it incites. The so-called tastes of nuts, vegetables and 
grains form a second class, for they consist, in large part, 
of pressure-sensations excited by stimulation of the tongue. 
It follows that because of his trained attention to degrees 
of roughness, smoothness, hardness and softness, the 
anosmic person can distinguish better than the normal 
person, if both are blindfolded, breads made of different 
grains. The pungent tastes, in the third place, like the 
spices, are largely distinguished by sensational elements 
of pain and perhaps of heat. And, finally, in another 
class of tastes the important feature is visual, as is 
proved by the fact that the varieties of meats and of 

Sensational Elements of Taste 57 

breads are so frequently undistinguished by the blind- 
folded observer. 

But the proof that most of the so-called tastes are com- 
plexes of smell, touch and color, with or without taste, 
leaves us still with the question, How many of these taste- 
elements are there, and how are they named ? The most 
probable theory recognizes precisely four tastes : sweet, 
salt, sour and bitter. For this conclusion, there are two 
main arguments. The first is introspective : these four ex- 
periences are actually distinct and unanalyzable. The effort 
to analyze them further, and to reduce all tastes to two ele- 
ments, for example, sweet and bitter, 1 is admitted by almost 
every observer to be unavailing. Neither salt nor sour is 
any fusion of other elements ; each is itself and is further ir- 
reducible. The attempt to discover, embedded in our experi- 
ence, a new taste-element, has been equally fruitless. Such 
a fifth element is the alleged alkaline or insipid taste, 2 
but close introspection pronounces it a faint degree of 

It should be noted, finally, that tastes have a strong affec- 
tive value, that is, that they are emphatically pleasant or 
unpleasant and seldom indifferent. The common confusion 
of the words ' sweet ' and ' good ' is, therefore, no accident ; 
and such expressions as ' bitter grief,' ' sour face/ ' sweet 
dreams,' are metaphors founded on this essentially affec- 
tive nature of the tastes. The pleasantness or unpleas- 
antness of the tastes, it will be observed, has a significance 
in the evolution of animal life, for harmful foods, which 
are also unpleasant, are more readily rejected, and healthful 
foods are more likely to be eaten if they are also pleasant. 

We shall next consider the physiological conditions of 
taste. In spite of great individual differences, it may be 
said, in a general way, that the surface of the tongue, 

1 Ladd (quoting Valentine) " Elements," p. 166. 

2 Cf. Kiesow in Wundt's " Philosophische Studien," X. and XII. ; Wundt's 
" Physiologische Psychologic," 4te Aufl., I., 439 ; and Patrick, op. cit., p. 92. 

58 End-organs of Taste 

especially the back and tip of it, the forward surface of 
the palate and sometimes other parts of the mucous mem- 
brane lining the mouth cavity, are known to be sensitive 
to taste-stimuli, and to be connected with nerves leading 
to the ' taste-centres ' in the temporal lobes of the brain. 1 
Examination discloses on these surfaces slight elevations, 
consisting of membranous folds, called papillae. These 
differ in structure, and two forms of them are probably of 
especial importance. 2 These are, first, the small, reddish 
papillae, readily recognized on the forward and middle sur- 
face of the tongue, and second, the large circumvallate 
papillae, shaped like castles with moats about them, which 
are found near the root of the tongue. Upon many of 
the papillae are certain minuter structures known as taste- 
buds, but these cannot be essential to taste, since they 
are rarely if ever found on the papillae of the tip of the 
tongue. No certain connection of a distinct end-organ 
with each of the different tastes has been made out. But 
whatever their structure and their mode of functioning, the 
end-organs of taste occasion contrast effects. 3 The con- 
trast between sweet and sour is especially noticeable; 
candy is oversweet when one has been drinking lemon- 
ade, oranges very sour after ice-cream. 

Of the physical stimuli of taste-sensations, we know even 
less than of the indefinitely localized physiological organs. 
Chemically distinct substances may even arouse the same 
sensational quality, for example, both sugar and acetate of 
lead give a ' sweet ' taste. Only one general statement 
may be hazarded : the taste-stimulus is always in liquid 
form. If the tip of the tongue be carefully dried, a 
crystal of sugar placed upon it will seem tasteless, until 
the tongue again becomes moist enough to dissolve it. The 
sum of our knowledge of the physiological and physical 

1 Cf. Appendix, Section I., I. 

2 For experiments, cf. Sanford, 53; Titchener 24, 25. 

8 Kulpe, "Outline of Psychology," 12. For experiments, cf. Titchener, 

Sensational Elements of Taste Intensity 59 

conditions of taste amounts simply, therefore, to this : 
stimuli in liquid form affect end-organs situated in the 
papillae of the mucous lining of the mouth cavity, and these 
are connected by afferent fibres with the temporal lobes 
of the hemispheres. 

Besides the taste-quality, a total sensation of taste (that 
is, the compound of the feeling of either sweet, salt, sour 
or bitter, with its invariable accompaniments) includes a 
sensational element of taste intensity. This is unnamed, 
but it is as clearly distinguished and as unanalyzable a sen- 
sational element as a brightness or a loudness. For exam- 
ple, the taste of highly salted food differs in its feeling of 
salt-intensity from the taste of slightly salted food; and 
the taste of a one per cent solution of quinine differs from 
that of a thirty per cent solution in its feeling of quinine- 
intensity. These intensities, moreover, like the bright- 
nesses and loudnesses, are capable of simple serial arrange- 
ment. We may assume that they are conditioned by the 
degree of physical stimulus and physiological excitation. 

Some psychologists also teach that tastes, like tones and 
noises, have a certain volume or extensity. It will be con- 
venient, however, to discuss all forms of extensity together, 
in a later chapter. 


We have little scientific knowledge of odors. Even our 
names for them are borrowed, usually from the objects to 
which we chance to refer them, and occasionally even from 
their affective accompaniments. Thus we know some 
odors only vaguely as good or bad, that is, pleasant or 
unpleasant, and at the best we can say nothing more defi- 
nite than 'heliotrope fragrance' or 'kerosene odor.' This 
chaotic state of affairs is largely due to the limited signifi- 
cance of odors in our intellectual and our artistic life. 
Language, the great medium of intellectual achievement, 

60 Sensations of Smell 

is invariably, because most readily, made up of visual and 
of auditory symbols ; and art employs visual and auditor} 
materials, both because they admit such numberless combi 
nations, and because, also, forms and colors are relatively per- 
manent and sounds are readily reproducible. Odors, on the 
other hand, are far less capable of fusions, and are neither 
permanent nor easily revivable, hence they are of little im- 
portance in art ; and so it comes about that the perfumer is 
even less likely than the cook to be reckoned among artists. 

The closer knowledge, so greatly needed, of odors and 
their conditions can be gained only by experimental intro- 
spection. This, however, is unfortunately of extraordinary 
difficulty, because we are so ignorant of the physiological 
processes and the physical conditions involved. Many 
smells are, of course, like tastes, obviously complex ex- 
periences containing elements of taste, touch and vision, 
as well as of smell. The pungency of such smells as that 
of ammonia is thus a touch-quality ; and such experiences 
as smelling sour milk are perhaps due to the entrance of 
particles through the nose into the throat. But this does 
not alter the need for the discovery and classification of 
the real smell-qualities. 

The most satisfactory classification of smells, as we 
meet them in nature, is that adapted by the Dutch physi- 
ologist, Zwaardemaker, from the classification of Linnaeus. 
It recognizes the following classes : 

1. Ethereal smells, including all fruit odors. 

2. Aromatic smells, for example, those of camphor, spices, lemon, rose. 

3. Fragrant smells, for example, those of most flowers. 

4. Ambrosiac smells, for example, all musk odors. 

5. Alliaceous smells, for example, those of garlic, asafoetida, fish, chlorine. 

6. Empyreumatic smells, for example, those of tobacco and toast. 

7. Hircine smells, for example, those of cheese and rancid fat. 

8. Virulent smells, for example, that of opium. 

9. Nauseating smells, for example, that of decaying animal matter. 1 

1 E. A. McC. Gamble, "The Applicability of Weber's Law to Smell," p. 10; 
and Zwaardemaker, " Physiologie des Geruchs," 233-235. 

Sensations of Smell 61 

This classification, however, aims simply to group natu- 
ral objects according to obvious similarities, not to classify 
odors by the unanalyzable smell-elements which distin- 
guish them. It is not surprising, therefore, to discover 
that many of the smells which it enumerates are capable 
of further analysis. Thus, in the odors of the strawberry, 
the rose and the violet, as compared, for instance, with 
the odors of benzine and of laudanum, there certainly 
seems to be an unnamed common element to which this 
list makes no reference. This introspective conclusion, 
that so-called smell-qualities are reducible to simpler ones, 
is supported by a study of the end-organs of smell, which 
are fitted, as we shall see, for functioning in only a limited 
number of ways. In the present state of experiment and 
discussion, the question of the number of odor-elements 
must, however, be turned over to the expert. 

Our conclusions are, therefore, very indefinite: we have 
sensational experiences, known as smells or odors, dis- 
tinguished from each other, but not designated by special 
names ; they are probably analyzable into a few distinct 
elements, but this analysis has never been satisfactorily 
made ; and they are often compounded, and sometimes con- 
fused, with tastes and touches. The arguments for the 
existence of smell-intensities are so closely parallel to 
those concerning taste-intensities that they need not be 
enumerated. The discussion of smell-extensity or volume 
is postponed to another chapter. 

The structure of the physiological end-organs of smell 
is not very clearly made out. Two phenomena indicate, 
however, that these organs are so distinct that they corre- 
spond both with different physical stimuli and with differ- 
ent smell-experiences. One of these phenomena is that of 
exhaustion. Experimental investigations show, for ex- 
ample, that " a subject whose organ is fatigued by the con- 
tinuous smelling of tincture of iodine can sense ethereal 
oils almost or quite as well as ever, oils of lemon, turpen- 

62 The Nose 

tine and cloves but faintly, and common alcohol not at 
all." 1 Evidently, therefore, different parts of the end- 
organs are affected by these distinct smell-stimuli, else the 
nostrils would be exhausted for all smells at the same 
time. 2 The infrequent experience of partial anosmia, or 
insensibility to smell-stimuli, also suggests that the end- 
organs of smell are differentiated, for the partially anosmic 
subject is sensitive to certain smell-stimuli and insensitive 
to others. This is supposed to indicate that the physio- 
logical mechanism of smell has distinct parts, of which 
one may be impaired without injury to the others ; just 
as the phenomena of partial color-blindness indicate the 
existence of distinct retinal structures or substances, corre- 
sponding with the different color-stimuli. 

The nasal cavities are divided, one from another, by 
a wall, or septum, of bone and of cartilage, and the bony 
portion of each is partially divided within itself by the 
three turbinate bones. Each nasal cavity opens at its 
further end into the pharynx, and this explains, of course, 
the confusion between tastes and smells, since gaseous 
particles from the mouth cavity may enter the nostrils in 
expiration, and sapid particles, on the other hand, may 
reach the mouth through the nostrils. The nasal cham- 
bers are lined in their upper part with mucous membrane 
of yellowish color consisting of several layers of cells ; 
with the outermost, or epithelial, layer of these cells the 
branches of the olfactory nerve are connected. 

Zwaardemaker has a very ingenious theory which sets 
forth that the stimulation of different localities of the 
olfactory region corresponds with smells of his nine dif- 
ferent classes. For example, the excitation of the part 
nearest to the pharynx and the reflex centre of coughing 
brings about, according to his scheme, the nauseating and 
virulent smells ; and, on the other hand, the fragrant, aro- 

1 E. A. McC. Gamble, op. cit., p. 7. 

2 For experiments, cf. Sanford, 59 ; Titchener, 29. 

Physical Conditions of Smell 63 

matic and ethereal smells are due to the excitation of the 
region nearest the front of the nose and the sneezing 
centre. There is as yet, however, no direct proof of such 
a hypothesis. 1 

The immediate physiological condition of the conscious- 
ness of smell is, of course, the excitation of cells in its 
' cerebral centre/ which is part of the temporal lobe. 
The human brain, as is well known, is far less developed, 
in its olfactory centres, than the animal brain. The other 
vertebrates have distinct olfactory lobes projecting for- 
ward from the hemispheres, but these have shrunk, in the 
human brain, to mere excrescences on the frontal lobes. 
Corresponding with this degeneration of physiological 
structure is the fact that smell plays a far less leading 
role in the life of men than in that of animals. 2 

We know little of the physical conditions of smell. Two 
statements only can be made with any degree of assurance. 
It is highly probable, in the first place, that the smell-stimu- 
lus is always gaseous, not liquid ; and it is almost certain 
that the property of stimulating the end-organs of smell is 
a function of the physical molecule, not of the atom, since 
most of the chemical elements are odorless. Summing up 
both physiological and physical conditions, we may say, 
therefore, that certain gaseous particles are carried by 
inspiration into the nostrils, where they stimulate cells 
found in the mucous membrane, and that these nerve- 
impulses are conveyed by the olfactory nerves to the 
temporal lobe of the brain. 

In conclusion, we may briefly compare smell-sensations 
with taste-sensations, and the stimuli and organs of smell 
with those of taste. We shall find important likenesses, 
but marked differences also. Both smell and taste sensa- 
tions have a strong affective quality, that is to say, they 

1 For experiment, cf. Titchener, 28 ; cf. Appendix, Section IV. 

2 Cf. Chapter XXV., p. 359. 

64 Sensations of Taste and Smell 

are likely to be distinctly pleasant or unpleasant. They 
resemble each other, also, in function, for both serve to 
test the wholesomeness of food. On the other hand, the 
delicacy of smell-sensations is remarkable, and there may 
be a great number of smell-qualities, whereas only four 
qualities of taste are established. A very small quantity 
of odoriferous material is required to occasion a smell- 
sensation, but the taste-stimulus is required in comparative 
bulk. The organ of smell is extensive, is situated at the 
entrance of the respiratory passages, and is excited by a 
stimulus at a distance ; the organ of taste cannot be 
surely identified, is situated at the entrance of the alimen- 
tary canal, and is affected only by objects which come 
into contact with it. And, finally, the brain-centre of 
smell is very distinct, but the taste-area is so small or 
so ill demarcated that anatomists are so far not even sure 
where it is. 




"THE famous town of Mansoul," said John Bunyan, 
"had five gates, in at which to come, out at which to 
go. . . . The names of the gates were these, Ear-gate, 
Eye-gate, Mouth-gate, Nose-gate, and Feel-gate." Every- 
day opinion agrees well with Bunyan and credits us with a 
fifth sense, touch, besides sight, hearing, taste, and smell. 
But long ago a better observer than Bunyan Aristotle, 
first of psychologists said truly, " It is a question whether 
the sense of touch includes several senses or whether it is 
one sense only, . . . for . . . the object of touch presents us 
with many pair of opposites such as hot and cold, dry and 
moist, hard and soft, and others. 1 " On reflection, we are 
tolerably certain to take sides with Aristotle. The differ- 
ent experiences, warmth and cold, pressure and pain, which 
result from stimulation of the skin, are as radically different 
from each other as colors from sounds or tastes from smells. 
Evidently, therefore, the word ' touch ' does not designate an 
elemental consciousness, but rather loosely covers a multi- 
tude of experiences which arise through stimulation of the 

Of all the elemental experiences which the word 'touch ' 
implies, the fundamental one is that of pressure. A proof 
of its significance is the curious fact that the reality of our 
experience is always put to a pressure-test, as we may call 

1 "Psychology," Book I., Chapter II., n. 
F 65 

66 Sensations of Pressure 

it. Macbeth clutches at the dagger to assure himself, by 
touching it, whether or not it is an apparition ; and one 
feels of an object to know what its shape ' really ' is. 
Our first impression is, that just as there are several 
distinct colors and several tastes, so also there are many 
varieties of pressure. There are, for example, the dis- 
tinctions which Aristotle has noted, of hard and soft, wet 
and dry ; there are other opposites of the same sort, such 
as rough and smooth, blunt and sharp ; and sensational 
elements of ' contact ' and of ' tickling ' are sometimes 
added to the list. But instead of being pressure-qualities 
and, therefore, elements of consciousness, these experiences 
are complex ideas in which the feeling of pressure is 
prominent. The simplest of them is ' contact,' which is 
merely faint pressure, that is, pressure-quality accompanied 
by a low degree of pressure-intensity. ' Sharp' and ' blunt,' 
are terms applied to the extents, great or small, of the press- 
ure. The feelings of ' smoothness ' and ' roughness ' are 
experiences of continued and of interrupted pressure. What 
we call the sensation of 'resistance' may be analyzed into an 
experience of pressure and of strain, and ordinarily includes 
also visual images of one's own body and of the resisting 
object. The consciousness of ' hardness ' and of ' softness ' 
is really the experience of the varying intensities accom- 
panying the resistance. The experience of being tickled 
involves the consciousness of contact and of motion, usually 
also a temperature feeling and an affection of pleasantness 
or of unpleasantness. 

Only one alleged pressure-quality remains to be ana- 
lyzed. This is the feeling of 'wetness,' which is seem- 
ingly the most elemental of them all. At first thought, it 
appears to be immediately experienced and incapable of 
resolution into any other factors. Yet everybody knows 
that it is impossible always to be sure by the mere ' feeling ' 
whether one's feet are wet or merely cold ; and whether a 
hot application has been wrung out in water or heated 
over a fire. The idea of humidity is indeed very complex, 

Sensations of Pressure 67 

made up of the sensational experience of temperature, 
either warm or cold, and of the more complex experience 
of smoothness combined usually with the visual image 
of a liquid, and with the consciousness of resistance. 1 

In spite, therefore, of their brave showing, no one of the 
alleged pressure-qualities has survived the test of at- 
tempted analysis. Each of them turns out to be a more 
or less complex experience, whose centre and core is the 
conscious element ' pressure,' capable, like the element 
1 gray,' of ultimate combination with an indefinite number 
of intensities, but itself a single quality. 

These pressure-intensities, like taste and smell inten- 
sities, have no special names, but are, nevertheless, distin- 
guishable from the qualities which they accompany, and 
are, therefore, sensational elements. 

The sensation of pressure, which is a complex of invari- 
ably coalescing elements, certainly includes, besides the 
one pressure-quality and any one of the innumerable press- 
ure-intensities, still another factor, the ' pressure-extensity/ 
parallel with the color or light extensity to which we have 
already alluded. The consideration of ' extensities ' is, 
however, postponed to another chapter. 

The erroneous assumption that we have one sense of 
touch has arisen, doubtless, from the supposition that the 
skin as a whole is the end-organ of touch, in the sense in 
which, for example, the retina is the end-organ of vision. 
The truth is, however, that the skin has many functions. 
It protects the organs which lie beneath it; it is of extreme 
significance as an excretory organ; and it also contains 
specific sensational end-organs of distinct sorts. An experi- 
ment which may be very simply carried out shows conclu- 
sively that the skin, though apparently sensitive, as a whole, 

1 Cf. throughout Titchener, "Outline of Psychology," 16, and Kiilpe, op. 
cit n 10. 

68 End-organs of Pressure 

to pressure-stimulations, is really merely the protector of 
distinct and scattered end-organs of pressure. If a blunted 
bit of cork be passed slowly along any portion of the skin, 
the wrist, for example, the subject of the experiment, 
if his eyes be closed, may be for several moments at a 
time unconscious of any pressure. But suddenly, now and 
again, as the cork touches certain definite points, there 
' flashes out ' a distinct sensation of pressure, evidently 
brought about by the stimulation of a separate organ. 1 
These pressure-spots, so called by Goldscheider, their 
discoverer, are scattered all over the surface of the body, 
but are more or less closely grouped together in different 
surfaces. Minute experiments in which carefully graded 
hairs replace the cork points of our proposed test, have 
ascertained that at some specially sensitive points, as the 
palm of the hand, one hundred such pressure-spots may 
be found within one square centimeter. 2 Almost without 
exception, a pressure-spot is found at the base of every 
one of the tiny hairs with which the skin is overgrown ; 
but there are also hairless regions of the body, the palm 
of the hand, for instance, which are yet very sensitive to 

The exact structure of the end-organs of pressure, which 
lie beneath the pressure-spots of the skin, is not known. 
No less than four sorts of differentiated nerve-endings, 
besides the hair-bulbs, have been discovered. All are rela- 
tively simple, ' little bunches of fibrils,' as Titchener calls 
them. There is much probability in von Frey's theory of two 
types of pressure end-organs, first, hair bulbs, and second, 
the so-called ' tactile corpuscles,' found under little elevations 
of the skin and penetrated by several nerve-fibres. 

One very curious phenomenon 3 connected with the 

1 For experiments, cf. Sanford, 21 ; Titchener, 21. 

2 Cf. Appendix, Section V., and von Frey, " Uber die Sinnesfunctionen det 
Menschlichen Haut," Abhandlung der Konigl. Sachs. Ges. der Wiss., Math- 
phys. KL, XXIII., 1896, p. 254. 

8 For experiment, cf. Sanford, 7 ; Titchener, 49. 

End-organs of Pressure 69 

situation of the pressure end-organs is the following : if 
two points be placed upon any surface of the skin, some 
distance may be found at which they will excite the con- 
sciousness, not of two pressures, but of a single one. This 
distance varies in different localities, and is smaller on the 
mobile organs : about one millimeter, for example, on the 
tongue, two millimeters on the finger-tips, and sixty-five 
millimeters on the middle of the back. These areas 
within which two points are felt as one are called ' sensory 
circles/ and it is important to notice that they are relatively, 
not absolutely, defined. That is to say, the skin is not 
mapped off into definite portions, such that a point near 
the edge of one portion is felt as distinct from a very near 
point which, however, is over the border of the given 
'sensory circle.' On the contrary, the distance between 
any two points felt as one must be virtually the same in 
neighboring regions of the skin. The physiological ex- 
planation is not yet definitely established. E. H. Weber 
suggested, years ago, that the distinction of pressure- 
stimuli as two must be supposed to occur only when 
unstimulated nerve-fibres intervene between the two which 
are excited ; and though this state of affairs has no known 
physiological analogy, yet no more probable or adequate 
hypothesis has been proposed. 

It should next be observed that end-organs of pressure, 
whatever their structure, are found, not only in the skin 
but inside the body. Pressure is thus a sensational ele- 
ment, excitable through internal as well as through external 
stimulation. The most important inner locality of the 
pressure end-organs is on the joint-surfaces. Anybody 
can convince oneself, by a simple experiment, 1 of the 
sensitiveness of these surfaces. Let one lower a weight, 
by a string attached to one's forefinger, till it strikes floor 
or table. At the moment when it strikes, one experiences 
a sensation, evidently of pressure, which can only be due 

For experiments, cf. Sanford, 39, 40. 

70 The Physiological Conditions of Pressure 

to the backward movement of the lower upon the upper 
joint-surfaces of the arm. 

Pressure end-organs are not only situated on the joint- 
surfaces, but are probably, also, to be found embedded in the 
muscles. 1 In fact, if the skin be made anaesthetic by spray- 
ing with ether, for example, and if then the muscle be 
flattened by hard pressure or contracted by electrical stimu- 
lation, a dull sensation, whose quality is that of pressure, is 
obtained. There is a difference, however, in the intensity 
of the pressure-sensations occasioned by these two methods. 
Many experiences tend to prove that pressure-sensations 
through bending of the joints are stronger and more readily 
discriminated than pressure-sensations through muscle-con- 
traction. 2 When the arm is mechanically lifted, without 
any muscular contraction at all, very small differences of 
pressure can be detected, and the larger the joint, the smaller 
may be the motion which is noticed. For example, if one 
lift the forearm of a blindfolded person through less than 
an angular degree, he will feel the pressure, which must 
therefore be due to the movement of the lower on the 
upper surface of the elbow-joint. And the accurate con- 
sciousness which we have of our finger-movements a 
pressure-experience, as we shall later discover 3 is far 
more likely due to the movements of the finger joint-sur- 
faces on each other than to the contraction of the muscles 
which move the fingers, for the muscles which do the chief 
part of this work are not in the fingers at all. 

The cerebral condition of pressure-sensations is the ex- 
citation of the area about the fissure of Rolando, and of 
part of the median surface of the brain. This accords well 
with the fact that the fissure of Rolando is that which first 
appears in the embryonic brain, for the ' sense of touch ' is 
certainly earliest developed and must be of special sig- 
nificance in the pre-natal life. An incidental proof from 

1 Foster, "Textbook on Psychology," Book III., p. 1063. 

2 Foster, op. cit. ; James, op. cif., II., p. 197. 
Cf. p. 87. 

Sensations of Pain 71 

biology, that pressure-sensations are primitive experiences, 
is the fact that all the end-organs are developed from struc- 
tures embedded in the skin, such as the * pigment spots ' 
which are the predecessors of eyes, and the * auditory pits ' 
from which ears have been developed. 1 

The physical stimulus of pressure-sensations, like that 
of sounds is mechanical, and is thus contrasted with the 
chemical stimulus of taste, of smell and, probably also, 
of visual sensations. To excite the end-organs of the press- 
ure-consciousness, these mechanical stimuli must, however, 
produce an actual deformation. This is the reason why 
one does not feel even pressures over large surfaces except 
at their terminal lines, so that if the hand be plunged into 
a liquid, the pressure will be felt only where the wrist 
emerges. It should be added that the mechanical stimulus 
serves merely to initiate a change which is probably chemi- 
cal, in the nerve itself. 


The knife-blade which, gently applied, excites a sensa- 
tional experience of pressure, may bring about also a very 
different sort of consciousness, that of pain. This is evi- 
dently distinct from all other sensation-elements through 
stimulation of the skin, and no good observer confuses the 
mere pressure with the painfulness of a heavy weight, or 
the heat with the painfulness of a poultice. But it is, per- 
haps, less easy to realize that painfulness is quite distinct 
also from disagreeableness or unpleasantness. Half the 
experiences which we ordinarily call ' painful ' are probably 
merely unpleasant. It is unpleasant, for example, but not 
painful, to mistake an ice-cream fork for an oyster fork at 
a dinner-party ; the magenta of the hat which obscures my 
view in the concert room is a disagreeable, not a painful, 

1 The eye is a partial exception, for the retina, the part most significant 
for vision, is in reality an outgrowth from the brain, not the development of a 
pigment spot in the skin. Cf. Chapter XXV., and Appendix, Section I., L 

72 Sensations of Pain 

color ; nausea and suffocation are unpleasant, not painfu^ 
experiences. The confusion is mainly due to the fact that 
sensational elements of pain are always accompanied by 
unpleasantness, in other words, that painful things are 
also unpleasant. In the case of apparent exceptions, as of 
slight pains which we intentionally inflict upon ourselves to 
see how they will feel, the pleasantness is probably that 
of the novelty, not of the pain. But it does not follow from 
the fact that pains are always unpleasant, that unpleasant- 
nesses are always painful, still less that the two are iden- 
tical. Our first conclusion, therefore, is that painfulness, 
an experience which follows upon the burning, bruising, or 
cutting of the skin and upon certain internal changes, is 
different from unpleasantness or disagreeableness. 

In the next place, we must observe that there is prob- 
ably only a single quality of pain-sensation, just as there 
is only one pressure-quality. That is, however distinct 
the methods by which it is induced, whether by heat or 
pressure or laceration, pain is just pain, the same inde- 
scribable sensation. At first thought, this statement may 
seem to contradict our ordinary experience. For we do 
actually distinguish acute, dull, stinging, gnawing, whirl- 
ing pains, and many others besides. The truth is, how- 
ever, that, carefully examined, these different sorts of 
pain are distinct from each other, not by any difference 
in their painfulness or pain-quality, but in one of three 
ways : they may differ of course in intensity ; they may, 
perhaps, differ also in bigness or voluminousness, for 
some pains seem vaster and more enveloping than others ; 
" they may differ also in steadiness, and if unsteady, they 
may vary in regularity, and regular pains may even vary 
in their rhythm. A throbbing headache, for example, 
follows the pulse-beat, and is very distinct, not only from 
a steady headache but from an irregular, stabbing, 
neuralgiac pain." 1 Pains, finally, may have widely differ- 

1 Quoted from manuscript notes of E. A. McC. Gamble. 

The Physical Conditions of Pain 73 

ent accompaniments. They are normally combined with 
sensations of pressure and of warmth or of cold ; and the 
alleged differences in pains are most often variations in 
these other sensations, which accompany them. A sting- 
ing pain, for example, is a complex experience of painful- 
ness, of warmth and of a small extent of pressure. 

The close connection of painfulness with pressure-sen- 
sations is readily explained from the evolutionary stand- 
point. Objects which come into actual contact with an 
organism are more likely to be dangerous than those 
which it merely sees or hears from a distance. Animals 
to whom, from spontaneous variation of their nervous 
organs, pressures were usually painful, would survive the 
dangers which overwhelmed their less highly organized 
comrades. The peculiar differentiation of their nervous 
apparatus, by which mechanical and thermal stimuli 
brought about pain as well as pressure and temperature 
sensations, would, therefore, tend to be perpetuated. 

It will be convenient to consider, briefly, the physical 
condition of pain, before discussing its physiological exci- 
tation. We are met at the outset by a deviation from the 
ordinary relation. For every other form of sense-quality, 
we have found a definite, even if vaguely characterized, 
physical stimulation. In the case of pain, however, it is 
obvious at once that no specific form of energy occasions 
it, but that the same stimuli which excite sensations of 
pressure, warmth and cold, and possibly even those which 
excite visual and auditory sensations, may bring about 
painfulness also, if only they are very intense, long con- 
tinued or often repeated. Hard or long-continued press- 
ure, intense heat and cold, and, possibly, blinding lights 
and crashing sounds may be called painful ; whereas 
excessive sweetness and heavy fragrance are merely 

We have next to ask for the physiological conditions, 
and first, therefore, for the peripheral or surface organs 

74 The Physiological Conditions of Pain 

of the pain-sensations. The oldest theory is based on the 
undoubted fact that pain follows on high degrees of 
mechanical stimulus. It teaches that there are no specific 
pain-organs, but that the excessive functioning of other 
end-organs, especially those of pressure, condition pain- 
sensation. This teaching, that excitation of pressure end- 
organs may occasion pain, is disproved by the discovery 
that certain anaesthetics destroy pain and pressure-sensa- 
tion independently of each other, however high the degree 
of physical pressure. If the oculist treats one's eye with 
cocaine, one is distinctly conscious of the contact of his 
instruments but feels no pain ; a similar use of saponin 
annihilates pressure-sensations and leaves pain. Certain 
injuries to the spinal cord result in a similar separation 
of pain and pressure-sensations. Evidently then, pain is 
not always produced by the hypernormal excitation of 
pressure end-organs. 

A second theory holds that pain is occasioned only by 
the excitation of distinct end-organs of pain. This view 
is based on the important discovery of pain-spots on the 
skin, like the pressure-spots already described. 1 These 
pain-spots, have not, however, up to this time been found 
on all parts of the body. In fact, careful experiments have 
discovered these spots, which are sensitive to pain and not 
to pressure, on no other parts of the body than the elbow- 
joints and the membranous coverings of the eye. Von 
Frey explains this infrequency of the pain-spots actually 
discovered, by supposing that the pain end-organs are far 
less easily excited than the pressure-organs. 

A third theory of the physiological condition of pain is 
especially worthy of attention, because it is that of Gold- 
scheider, the discoverer of the pain-spots on the skin. He 
holds that these ' pain-spots,' are not, as has been sup- 
posed, pain end-organs, distinct from pressure-organs, but 
that they are merely exposed pressure-organs, located 

1 For experiments, cf. Sanford, 32 ; Titchener, 22. 

The Physiological Conditions of Pain 75 

under an unusually thin part of the epidermis or upper 
skin ; and that pain is physiologically due, not to the ac- 
tivity of any nerve end-organs in the skin, but to a trans- 
formation, in the gray substance of the spinal cord, of 
nerve-excitations conveyed from these exposed pressure 
end-organs. 1 

It should be added that pain is usually due to conditions 
on the surface of the body, not inside it. " A muscle or 
a tendon, the intestine, the liver, or the heart may be 
handled, pinched or cauterized," Foster says, 2 " without any 
pain or indeed any sensation being felt." This suggests 
the view that so-called ' internally excited ' sensations of 
pain, as of warmth and of cold, are usually due to the spread 
of nerve-excitations to end-organs in the skin ; and from the 
standpoint of evolution, this infrequency of internally stim- 
ulated pains is readily understood. All pain is an exhaust- 
ing experience and positively injurious to the organism; 
but external pains serve as signals of danger, warning 
animals from harmful food and environment. The race 
of animals with external pains would tend, therefore, to be 
perpetuated, in spite of the harmfulness of the pain in 
itself ; but animals who are internally sensitive to pain 
would tend to die out, since internal pains serve no use- 
ful purpose to offset their harmfulness. 

No definite brain-centre has ever been localized whose 
functioning is found to condition pain-sensations only. 
The Rolandic region has been, up to this time, considered 
as centre for dermal sensations of pressure, warmth, cold, 
pain. What particular area or special cortical layer within 
this region has to do with pain-sensations is not known. 

A distinct treatment of ' intensities ' and ' extensities ' of 
pain would merely repeat, tmitatis mutandis, what has 
been said of smells and tastes. 

1 Cf. Goldscheider, "Uber den Schmerz," p. 18. 

2 " Textbook of Physiology," Book III., p. 1045. 

76 Sensations of Temperature 

The most important of these results are included in the 
following summary : we have unanalyzable experiences 
of pain and pain-intensity, usually accompanying other 
sensations, especially those of pressure, and invariably 
accompanied by unpleasantness, yet perfectly distinct 
from both. These have no definite physical stimulus but 
are usually or always conditioned by the extreme inten- 
sities of mechanical and thermal stimuli. They are physi- 
ologically caused by the activity of cerebral centres (prob- 
ably of the Rolandic region) originally set up either by 
the functioning of special nerves and end-organs, or by 
some more central process, very likely in the gray sub- 
stance of the spinal cord. 


We all know what it is to be warm and to be cold, and 
reflection will convince us that warmth and cold are dis- 
tinct, unanalyzable experiences, and, therefore, elements of 
consciousness. They are distinct, in the first place, from 
pressure and from pain, though often combined with each. 
For instance, I am conscious at the same time of the press- 
ure and of the warmth of a warm poultice, but the warmth 
is an experience quite distinct from that of pressure. The 
sensational qualities, warmth and cold, are also quite dis- 
tinct from each other, so that it is really misleading, 
though convenient, to group them together as sensational 
elements of temperature. 

The nature of the experience which we know as hotness 
is far harder to determine. Three opinions have been held. 
It has been taught by most psychologists that hotness is 
simply warmth, combined with a high degree of warmth- 
intensity. But introspection opposes this conclusion ; there 
is a qualitative difference, for example, in the feeling of a 
red-hot stove and the feeling of a rock warmed by the sun. 
It is sometimes, therefore, held that hotness is a complex 
experience including feelings of warmth and of pain. But 

Physical Conditions of Temperature-sensation 77 

though it is certain that hot objects are often also painful, 
it is probable that the feeling of hotness is distinct from that 
of pain. On the whole, therefore, we conclude that hotness 
is a distinct and simple sensational element, although, as we 
shall see, its physiological condition is complex. 1 

Warmth, cold and heat intensities demand no special 
treatment. There is no reason to deny their elemental 
quality and their capacity for direct serial arrangement. 
There is perhaps, also, voluminousness, or bigness, of 
temperature experiences. 

No direct relation can be discovered between the degree 
of the thermometer and the cold or warmth or heat sensa- 
tion. In other words, we are not always warm when the 
thermometer registers a high degree and cold when it 
stands at a low figure. On the contrary, the room which 
seems warm to me as I enter it after a brisk walk seems 
chilly an hour later, though the height of the mercury is 
unchanged ; and if I warm one hand and cool another the 
same lukewarm water will seem cool to the first and warm 
to the second. 2 These experiences, and others like them, 
clearly show that the sensation of warmth or of cold or of 
heat is not determined by the actual temperature of the 
body, but by the relation between the temperature of the 
body and that of its environment. When these two are 
identical, however high or low, the bodily temperature is 
described as that of the physiological zero, and there is 
no sensation either of warmth or of cold. When the 
physical temperature of the body exceeds that of its envi- 
ronment, the sensation is of cold, and, on the other hand, 
when the temperature falls below that of the environment, 
one has the experience of warmth, changing as we have 
seen at a certain point to that of heat. The physio- 
logical conditions of this sensational element, hotness, are 
complex, as will be shown later. 

i Cf. P . 78. 

8 For experiments, cf. Sanford, 18 ; Titchener, p. 53, last paragraph. 

78 End-organs of Temperature-sensations 

The thermal stimulation of the skin is occasioned in two 
ways : by radiation of heat from outer objects and by mus- 
cular activity, which means loss of energy in the form of 
heat. I may grow warm, for example, by basking in the 
sun, or by swinging dumb-bells. Not the skin as a whole, 
however, but certain definite end-organs are affected. This 
is shown by applying warm and cold surfaces of very small 
extent to different parts of the body. A bit of metal may 
be moved along for some little distance on the surface of 
the body, without rousing the experience of cold, which, 
however, will suddenly occur as the stimulus reaches one 
of the ' cold spots ' over an end-organ of cold. 1 There are 
fewer of these than of the pressure or pain end-organs, 
and the organs of warmth are least frequent of all, and 
most scattered. The cornea of the eye is sensitive to cold, 
but not to pressure, and both warmth and cold end-organs 
are found within the mouth-cavity where no ' pain spots ' 
have been discovered. Most of the inner surfaces of the 
body, however, are without these warmth and cold organs, 
so that internal sensations of ' cold,' ' warm' and ' hot,' 
though localized within the body, are usually due to out- 
ward radiation of cold or heat and to stimulation of the 
end-organs in the outer skin. Even the mucous lining of 
the mouth-cavity is less sensitive than the outer skin, so 
that one may drink, with perfect comfort, coffee which 
seems unbearably hot if it touches the lip. 

It has been indicated by experiment 2 that sensations of 
hotness are conditioned by the simultaneous functioning 
of end-organs both of warmth and of cold. The most 
important reasons for this conclusion are the following : 
(i) If an area of the skin be stimulated containing warm 
spots, but no cold spots, no feelings of hotness, but only 
feelings of warmth and of pain result, however hot the 
stimulating object. If (2) a region of the skin, that of the 
upper forehead for instance, which contains cold spots and 

1 For experiment, cf. Sanford, 13 ; Titchener, 19. 

2 Cf. S. Alrutz, Mind, N. S. VI., 445 seq. ; VII., 141 seq. 

Sensations of Temperature 79 

a very few warm spots, be tested with a series of points 
graduated from cold to hot, sensations of cold, of slight 
warmth, and then at once of hotness are obtained, with no 
intermediate sensations of extreme warmth. 

The structure of these end-organs is not definitely deter- 
mined, but von Frey may be correct in his theory that the 
so-called end-bulbs of Krause, found in most parts of the 
outer skin, on the cornea and in the mouth, are end-organs 
of ' cold,' and that certain deep-lying cells, recently dis- 
covered by Ruffini are warmth end-organs. 1 The cerebral 
locality whose excitation is the immediate physiological 
cause of warmth and cold sensations is, so far as discov- 
ered, the Rolandic region. 

To recapitulate therefore : we have distinct sensational 
elements of cold, warmth and hotness ; of cold-intensity, 
warmth-intensity and heat-intensity ; and perhaps a paral- 
lel series of sensational elements of voluminousness. The 
physical conditions of these sense-elements are modifica- 
tions of a thermal stimulus. The physiological conditions 
are primarily the excitations of end-organs (i) of cold, 
(2) of warmth or (3) both of cold and of warmth. These 
end-organs are situated mainly in the skin ; their excitation 
depends on the temperature of the body relative to that 
of its environment; their excitation, by way of ingoing 
nerves, occasions the activity of cerebral cells, probably in 
the Rolandic area ; and this cerebral activity is the im- 
mediate condition of the feelings of cold, warmth and 

1 Cf. throughout, Max von Frey, " Beitrage zur Sinnesphysiologie der 
Haul," Berichte der Gesellsch., d. Wissenschaft, zu Leipsic, Math-Phys. 
Kl., 1894-95, PP- l6 5 s 'f- 




WE have found that pressure and pain sensations, and, 
on a more limited area, sensations of warmth and cold, are 
excitable not merely by the stimulation of organs on the 
outer surface, but by the excitation also of end-organs 
within the body. There are still to be considered certain 
alleged sensations whose excitation is invariably internal. 


The first of these is the sensation of strain. It is occa- 
sioned by lifting weights and by assuming rigid bodily 
attitudes. A simple way to excite it, for example, is to 
clench the hand firmly but in such wise that its surfaces 
do not touch each other. No external pressure can then 
be felt, but the resulting experience is said to include, no 4 " 
only a weak sensation of pressure from the moving of the 
surfaces of the finger-joints on each other, but also a new 
and elemental experience, that of strain. There is no 
doubt, of course, about the existence of this consciousness 
of strain ; but it is not so certain that it is really a sensa- 
tional experience and not rather a combination of pressure 
and of pain. The writer of this book is unable, in fact, to 
decide between these two hypotheses, vibrating between 
the view that strain is an elemental experience and the 
theory that it is a complex experience, analyzable into 


Sensations from Internal Excitation 8 1 

pressure and pain sensations ; in either case it may be 
accompanied by any one of an indefinite number of inten- 

A simple experiment * will show that this strain-experi- 
ence, whether elemental or complex, is due to stimulation 
of the tendons, that is, the fibrous cords which connect 
muscles with bones. If one's arm be drawn down by a 
heavy weight attached to one of the fingers, strain-sensa- 
tions are felt. But the weighting of the arm prevents 
either muscular contraction or pressure of the joint-sur- 
faces. The only change, therefore, which the weight can 
effect in the arm is the excitation of its tendons. The 
cerebral centre of the strain-sensations is the Rolandic 


The experiences next to be discussed are more obviously, 
in the writer's opinion, complex, not elemental. Both are 
due to excitations of the semicircular canals. The first of 
them is the alleged static sense of consciousness of the 
body's position. 

I unquestionably possess in my normal waking life a 
consciousness of my position. I know whether I am 
standing or lying down, whether my head is straight or 
tilted, whether my body is inclined to right or to left. 
More than this, I am constantly making little compensa- 
tory movements forward or back, right or left, to preserve 
the balance of my body when its position changes. I 
ordinarily reflect little on the consciousness of bodily posi- 
tion, and I may be perfectly unconscious of the movements 
which I make to keep my balance, but whenever these are 
checked for example, on first trying to walk after a long 
illness I discover myself staggering and falling for want 
of these quick, recovering movements. Before discussing 
the consciousness of position, we shall, therefore, consider 

iCf. Titchener, 31, p. 87, Exercise (i). 

82 Sensations from Internal Excitation 

the origin of these compensatory movements. We shall 
later show that the two phenomena, psychical and physio- 
logical, are often confused, that is, that the consciousness 
of bodily position is often argued from the mere observa- 
tion of the bodily movements. These compensatory 
movements are probably excited in the following way : 
end-organs in the semicircular canals of the ear are stimu- 
lated, and these nervous impulses are conveyed to the cere- 
bellum, which is a brain-centre for the motor nerves whose 
excitation causes the balancing movements of the body. 
This summary statement must now be expanded. The 
semicircular canals are organs within the ear, separated 
from the cochlea by the vestibule, a rounded, bony envelope, 
containing two small, membranous bags. The canals them- 
selves consist of mem- 
branous tubes each com- 
pleting nearly a circle. 
Each canal is enclosed 
in a bony sheath, is sur- 
rounded by a liquid (the 
. perilymph) and is filled 

FIG. 8. Diagram (schematic) of the internal r . J v .' . 

ear, in longitudinal section, a, semicircular With a liquid (the en- 
canals; b, cochlea; c, basilar membrane; dolvmph). The bonv 
d, vestibule. J , r ., . 

canals, vestibules and 

cochlea together form a continuous body, lying in a spongy 
portion of the temporal bone. The canals are at right 
angles to each other, one of them lies horizontally, a 
second curves from front to back and the third runs from 
right to left. Each opens into the vestibule and termi- 
nates at one end in a sort of swelling or dilation called an 
ampulla. A branch of the auditory nerve penetrates each 
of these ampullae and the vestibule as well, ending in cells 
from which hairs project ; and in the vestibule, at least, 
there are small hard substances, the ear stones or otoliths. 
The essential feature of the apparatus is its extreme sensi- 
tiveness to changes of bodily position. The slightest move- 
ment which tends to unbalance the body must alter the 

Alleged Sensations of Position 83 

position of the semicircular canals, and thus put in motion 
the endolymph. This movement, with or without the 
additional pressure of an otolith, bends the hairs of the 
ampullae and stimulates the vestibular section of the acous- 
tic nerve, and this excitation reaches the cerebellum, which 
is, as has been said, the nerve-centre for the movements 
affecting bodily equilibrium. Actual experiments show 
the connection of these organs with the preservation of 
balance. Animals deprived either of cerebellum or of semi- 
circular canals stagger and fall about in an unbalanced and 
helpless way ; and deaf people whose semicircular canals 
are injured cannot preserve their equilibrium, if they are 
blindfolded and therefore unable to regulate their move- 
ments by the visual perceptions of bodily position. 

If we now carefully consider what has so far been estab- 
lished, we find this result : the movements which keep the 
body balanced are due (i) to the disturbance of the posi- 
tion of semicircular canals and the consequent pressure 
of endolymph on nerve-endings, (2) to the excitation of 
motor-centres in the cerebellum, (3) and finally, to the ex- 
citation of outgoing, or motor, nerves and the muscular 
contractions which preserve the balance. We have thus 
discovered the origin of the balancing movements of the 
body. Undoubtedly they are initially due to excitation 
of the semicircular canals. But this is no foundation for 
the statement of certain psychologists, that there are ' sen- 
sations of bodily position ' whose organs are within the 
semicircular canals. On the other hand, when we exam- 
ine introspectively the nature of our consciousness of bodily 
position, we shall almost certainly find it made up of press- 
ure and of strain experiences. The latter are mainly due 
to bodily rigidities and to cramped attitudes. The pressure- 
sensations are from two distinct sources : first, from ex- 
ternal stimulus, as when one is conscious of the pressure 
of the foot to the floor, of the body to the chair and of the 
skin more tightly drawn over a moving hand ; and second, 
from internal movements, of the joint-surfaces, for example, 

84 Sensations from Internal Excitation 

of shoulder and elbow joints upon each other. The 
most careful analysis fails to find more than this in our 
consciousness of position, and we are forced, therefore, to 
deny that there is any static sense, any elemental sensation 
of position. 


To the excitation of semicircular canals still another 
sensation is referred, that of dizziness. What is known as 
dizziness is probably either a complex experience or a mere 
pressure-sensation. It includes, or is closely accompanied 
by, moving visual images of objects and figures rotating 
slowly, or slipping and swimming about in one's field of 
vision. It is furthermore, sometimes, though by no means 
invariably, accompanied by the feeling of nausea. For the 
rest, it seems to consist of a pressure-sensation ' located ' 
within the head. 

No definite physiological cause of dizziness can be as- 
signed. It is often, as has been said, explained by semi- 
circular canal-excitation, and certainly the loss of balance 
is its most frequent cause. Deaf-mutes, whose semicircu- 
lar canals are affected, may therefore lose their equi- 
librium without being giddy. But the loss of balance and 
the consequent pressure of the liquid in the canals is not 
sufficient explanation of dizziness, which occurs sometimes 
when the head and the whole body are unmoved. On the 
whole, therefore, we are not able to assign to it a definite 
bodily cause, though it probably is a pressure-sensation due 
to some stimulation within the head. 


Certain alleged sensational qualities, due to internal 
and not to external stimulation, still remain open to dis- 
cussion. Among them are ( i) the so-called sensations from 

Sensations from Internal Excitation 85 

the alimentary canal, hunger, thirst, nausea, and (2) the 
so-called circulatory and respiratory sensations. Carefully 
analyzed, however, each of these, in the writer's opinion, 
will disclose itself as a complex experience, and not, in any 
sense, a simple feeling. Thirst, for example, is a complex 
of pressure and warmth sensations ; it is due to a drying 
of the mucous membrane of the mouth-cavity, which be- 
comes a poorer conductor of warmth. The chief element 
in hunger, also, is probably that of pressure, brought about 
by some chemical action on the lining of the stomach. 
What is called nausea is a still more complex experience, 
but its essential ingredient is pressure, due to the anti- 
peristaltic reflexes of the oesophagus. 

The alleged respiratory sensations, such as breathless- 
ness, suffocation and stuffiness, are evidently experiences 
including several elements : first, and most important, press- 
ure-sensations ; often also, sensations of strain, as when 
one holds one's breath ; and, finally, for most people, a 
visual image of the part of the body chest or throat 
which is affected. The 'circulatory' sensations are either, 
like itching and feverishness, compounds of warmth and 
pressure-sensations, or else they are the massive pressure- 
sensations from difficult breathing or from abnormally 
strong heart-beat. 

These ' organic ' experiences, though seldom attended 
to, are nevertheless of great significance, for they may 
form part of our most complex ideas and moods. Emo- 
tions are, as we shall see, especially rich in 'organic 
sensations.' When, for example, I am afraid, my heart 
flutters ; when I am grieved, my throat is choked ; when I 
am perplexed, there is a weight on my chest. And though 
I concern myself little with these seemingly unimportant 
experiences, they none the less effectively color my moods. 1 

We have thus examined four sorts of alleged sensation 
from internal stimulus. But with one possible exception, 

1 Cf. Chapter XX., p. 286 seq. 

86 Sensations from Internal Excitation 

the sensation of strain, these have resolved themselves 
into complex experiences, mainly of pressure. Our impor- 
tant results are, therefore, two : we have found a proba- 
bility that pressure end-organs of some sort are situated 
in certain unexpected bodily localities. Not merely the 
mechanical stimulation of skin, joint-surfaces, and volun- 
tary muscles, but that of the alimentary canal and perhaps, 
also, that of the tendons, results in pressure-sensations. We 
have found, also, that these pressure-sensations from inter- 
nal excitation form, not only an important part of the con- 
sciousness of our bodies, but a constant though unnoticed 
feature of all types of experience. 


So much is made, in these days, of what has been called 
the ' motor ' consciousness, that it is well to devote a brief 
section to the study of it. 1 We must begin by distinguish- 
ing two experiences : the consciousness of bodily move- 
ments, of head or limbs or trunk; and the consciousness 
of motions on the surface of the body, like that, for exam- 
ple, of an ant crawling slowly over the forehead or the 
wrist. We are mainly concerned with the consciousness 
of movements of the body. 

The mobility of the human body is its most obvious char- 
acteristic. Movements of the limbs and fingers, and of 
jaws, nostrils and eyeballs are constant during one's wak- 
ing hours ; and others, such as the movements of lungs 
and diaphragm and the rhythmic contractions of heart and 
arteries, are normally continuous throughout life. Only 
the effort to control these movements, to fix the eyes, to 
compose the hands or to hold the breath, makes clear to* us 
the utter restlessness of our bodies. The psychologist is 
interested in bodily movement from several points, of view. 
Even if the movement is unconscious, it is inevitably either 

1 For fuller treatment, <:f. James, op. cit., II., 493, stq. 

The Consciousness of Motion 87 

the antecedent, the accompaniment or the consequent of 
particular facts of consciousness, and it is, therefore, useful 
in the explanation and classification of these psychic facts. 
We are here concerned, however, with the direct conscious- 
ness of bodily movements. One important school of psy- 
chologists has held that it is a sensational, that is, a distinct 
and unanalyzable experience. But careful analysis of any 
experience of the moving body, the consciousness, for ex- 
ample, with eyes closed, of a moving arm, will convince 
any one that it is a very complex idea, involving some or 
all of the following factors: (i)the visual images of the 
appearance of the arm in successive positions, (2) the sen- 
sations of pressure of the surfaces of the joints against 
each other, (3) the vague sensations of pressure from the 
contraction of voluntary muscles, (4) the sensation of press- 
ure from contraction of the sympathetic and involuntary 
muscles, (5) the experience of dizziness. And of all these 
constituents of the idea of the body's movement, the sensa- 
tions of pressure through movements of the joints are doubt- 
less the most important. James says truly that " no more 
favorable conditions could be possible for the delicate call- 
ing of the sensibility into play than are realized in the 
minutely graduated rotations and firmly resisted variations 
of pressure involved in every act of extension or flexion." 1 
The consciousness, not of movements of the body, but 
of motions on its surface, may be even more briefly con- 
sidered. It consists essentially in the consciousness of 
successive positions. My experience, for example, of a 
pencil point drawn slowly over my cheek, as I sit with 
eyes closed, is a consciousness of the object as first near 
my hair, then closer to my ear, then approaching my chin. 
We are not yet prepared for the thorough analysis of this 
consciousness of successive positions. Evidently, however, 
it requires that at the moment when one point of my skin 
is stimulated, I retain the image of a previous stimula* 

1 Op. tit., II., 191. 

88' The Consciousness of Motion 

tion. And evidently this is no simple sensational experience 
but a very complex one, including, as it does, the conscious- 
ness of position and of succession, besides purely tactual 
and often visual sensations. 

Our most important result is, therefore, negative : the 
failure to discover any ' motor sensations.' The conscious- 
ness of bodily movements has been shown to be a com- 
plex experience mainly of pressure, and the consciousness 
of surface-motions is at least equally complex. 




EVERY color has a certain bigness or extensity. The 
discussion of the nature of this experience involves great 
difficulty : we have already dodged the problem at several 
points of our study, but it definitely confronts us now. Its 
most natural solution treats extensity as a sensational ele- 
ment of consciousness, on the ground that it is an unana- 
lyzable experience quite distinct from every other. In the 
words of James, it is " an element in each sensation, just as 
intensity is. That, every one will admit to be a distinguish- 
able though not separable ingredient. ... In like man- 
ner, extensity being an entirely peculiar kind of feeling, 
indescribable except in terms of itself, and inseparable in 
actual experience from some sensational quality which it 
must accompany, can itself receive no other name than 
that of sensational element." l 

This testimony of introspection to the elemental nature 
of extensity has, however, been challenged by acute and 
learned psychologists. 2 Their position has, therefore, to 
be carefully considered. They point out that no definite 
physical and physiological conditions of the extensity con- 
sciousness have ever been discovered. The lack of a corre- 
sponding form of physical energy is common, to be sure, 

1 op. dt. t II., P . 136. 

2 Among these may be named the English psychologists, Mill, Bain and 
Spencer, and the German writers Helmholtz and Wundt. The sensational 
theory is supported by James, Ward, Stumpf, Hering and others. Cf. Bib- 


90 Elemental Consciousness of Extensity 

to several admitted forms of sensational element, and is 
comparatively unimportant, since the physical is never the 
immediate explanation of the psychical. But there is no 
instance, it is argued, of sensational element without corre- 
sponding physiological end-organs ; and no organs of visual 
extensity have ever been discovered in the retina. The 
natural conclusion, it is urged, is that the consciousness of 
visual extensity must be unsensational. 

The opponents of the sensational theory endeavor, also, 
to undermine, at its foundation, the value of the introspec- 
tive observation. The naive, unverified consciousness, they 
observe, is notoriously untrustworthy in its discovery of 
conscious elements. Experiences such as alleged sensa- 
tions of wetness and of tickling, which it unhesitatingly 
labels as simple, turn out to be highly complex. The fact 
that extensity seems to introspection an unanalyzable 
sensational experience proves only, therefore, that the 
elements of which it is made up so invariably accompany 
each other, that they are no longer noticed separately. 
Positively, therefore, this 'empirical' theory of extensity, 
appealing to our trained and attentive introspection, teaches 
in opposition to the 'sensational* theory, that the con- 
sciousness of visual extensity is a complex experience, 
made up of a combination of the sensations resulting from 
the movement of the eye-muscles. According to this em- 
pirical or motor theory, my idea, for example, of the exten- 
sity of the paper on which I write, is composed of the 
sensations of pressure which I gain from the moving of 
my eyeballs as I glance, involuntarily, from top to bottom 
and from right to left of the sheet, and my idea of the 
extensity of my watch is the complex of sensations due 
to the sweep of my eye-muscles, actual or imagined, as I 
follow its curved outline. The fact that our extensity- 
consciousness is mainly, at least, visual or tactual, fol- 
lows naturally, it is argued, 1 on this hypothesis, from the 
peculiar mobility of eyeball and of hand. 

1 Cf. Spencer, " Principles of Psychology," Vol. II., R. VL, Chapter 14, 
pp. 196-197. 

Visual Extensity 91 

Let us now, however, examine critically the arguments 
which oppose the sensational theory and which indirectly, 
therefore, support the empirical or motor hypothesis. In 
the first place, the sensationalist may reject the implication 
that assignable physiological end-organs are the condition 
sine qua non of sensational elements. Admitting, from 
analogy, the probability that sensational elements are so 
distinguished, he will nevertheless insist that their only 
essential criteria are (i) observed distinctness and (2) the 
fact that they are not analyzable. It is quite unnecessary, 
however, to concede to the empiricist that no physiologi- 
cal differentiation corresponds with the experience of ex- 
tensity. We know very little of the membranous structure 
and muscular processes of the eye, and we are ignorant, 
above all, of the cerebral areas and modes of activity 
which are immediate conditions of psychical facts. There 
may, therefore, be physiological structures and functions, 
as yet unobserved, which specifically correspond with the 
extensity consciousness. For example, it is conceivable, 
as has been suggested, that visual extensity is physio- 
logically conditioned by the number of retinal processes, 
optic nerve-fibres and cerebral cells, which are excited, that 
is, by the number, as distinguished from the degree and the 
locality, of nerve-excitations. Such an hypothesis may be 
supplemented by the theory that the number of ether- 
waves of a given length and amplitude, impinging at a 
given time upon the retina, is the physical correlate of the 
consciousness of extensity. 

But far more serious is the aspersion cast by the empiri- 
cist theory on the trustworthiness of adult introspection. 
Nobody can deny, indeed, that the ' naive consciousness ' 
is peculiarly prone to err in its enumeration of elements, 
and likely to mistake, through inattentiveness or through 
positive inability, the constantly combined for the ele- 
mentally simple. Untrustworthy as it is, however, intro- 
spection is the only resource of the psychologist. He must 
guard it by experimental methods and verify it by com- 

92 Elemental Consciousness of Extensity 

parison with the experience of others, but in the end he 
must trust it. The object of his study consists simply of 
the facts of his own consciousness, and for these he is the 
final authority. In the end, therefore, the issue is between 
the introspection of the sensationalist and that of the em- 
piricist. The writer sides with the former, and maintains 
that our consciousness of extensity simply is not a con- 
sciousness of motion or a complex of pressure-sensations ; 
and that, on the other hand, by bigness or extensity we do 
mean an experience as distinct, as unlike every other and 
therefore as elemental, as color or pitch or brightness. 

It is, however, of the utmost importance to distinguish 
between the elemental consciousness of mere bigness or 
extensity and the developed ideas of space, surface, depth 
and figure, which replace it in the adult consciousness. No 
one of these experiences is what we mean by the sensational 
element of 'crude extensity/ in which, as James 1 well 
says " there is no question as yet of surface or of depth." 
These ideas of ' total space,' of surface or space of two di- 
mensions, and of depth or distance, like the ideas of definite 
shapes, of triangles, circles or cubes, are without doubt 
highly complex. In all probability the consciousness of 
movement is an important factor of them. They certainly 
include, also, the consciousness of position and the con- 
sciousness of relation experiences which have not been 
carefully discussed. Engulfed as it is in this conscious- 
ness of surface, depth and form, almost never appearing m 
even relative simplicity, the consciousness of mere bigness 
seems nevertheless to be a distinct experience unlike all 
others, and thus a sensational element of consciousness. 


Everybody admits that we are conscious not only of vis- 
ual extensity but of the bigness or extensity of objects of 
touch. The feeling of extensity, occasioned by an object 

1 Op. at., II., 136. 

Pressure and Sound Extensity 93 

which touches forehead or hand or leg, is indeed as dis- 
tinct and indescribable an element of experience as the 
feeling of pressure from the object. The empiricist, to be 
sure, denies this, and describes the consciousness of press- 
ure-extensity as a consciousness of the movements, real 
or imagined, with which we ' outline' the object. But 
the arguments which inclined us to the view that visual 
extensity is elemental apply equally to the tactual experi- 
ence. It is, however, an open question whether the exten- 
sity is identical in the visual and tactual experience, or 
whether there are at least these two kinds of extensity, 
visual and tactual, just as there are different sorts of in- 
tensity, like brightness and loudness. The writer inclines 
to the latter view. 1 


Sounds certainly differ from each other in some other 
way than in pitch, in noise-quality and in loudness. The 
roar of the waves on the beach is not merely a deeper- 
pitched nor always a louder sound than the voice of the 
child at play beside them ; it is also what we may call 
'bigger/ 'vaster,' more 'extensive' or more 'voluminous.' 
This difference, whatever it is, is best illustrated by play- 
ing the same tone with equal intensity on different instru- 
ments on flute and on horn, on violin and on harp, or on 
cello and on trombone. There is an unmistakable differ- 
ence between these tones, yet the one is not higher nor 
lower, louder nor softer, than another. Physicists have 
been wont to name the distinction one of 'quality/ but 
most people express it by saying that the trombone tone 
is bigger than the cello tone ; and that the violin has a 
larger sound than the harp. This sound-bigness, or vol- 
ume, it should be added, varies with the pitch, for the 
lower the pitch the ' bigger ' is the sound ; yet volume is 

1 Cf. op. dt. 

94 Elemental Consciousness of Extensity 

not identical with pitch, since it may vary, as we have seen, 
when the pitch is unaltered. 

Physicists are probably correct in attributing sound-vol- 
ume, or sound-quality as they call it, to a complex atmos- 
phere-vibration. The physical correlate of sound-extensity, 
as thus considered, is roughly parallel with that of visual 
extensity. It consists of the complexity of vibration of the 
air-particles, depending on the number of simple vibrations 
into which each complex vibration can be analyzed. The 
physiological correlate of the consciousness of extensity 
is probably the number of functioning basilar-membrane 
fibres and brain-cells. 

The usual view, it should be added, of the experience 
which we have called that of sound-extensity is that sounds 
are called ' larger ' or * vaster ' simply because we imagine 
them as coming from a greater distance or as pervading a 
greater visual space or as occasioned by objects which are 
big to vision or to touch. On this hypothesis, the sound of 
a cannon, for example, is vaster than that of the squeaky 
slate pencil, because the cannon is bigger than the slate 
pencil or because the explosion can be heard for a greater 
distance than the squeak. The difficulty with this theory, 
in the writer's opinion, is its contradiction of a fact of in- 
trospection, the distinct, unanalyzable, elemental character 
of sound-bigness which is quite different from the imag- 
ined visual or pressure extensity. 

James teaches that the element of crude extensity or 
bigness or voluminousness is ' discernible in each and 
every sensation, though more developed in some than in 
others.' He instances the 'massive feeling . . . [from] . . . 
entrance into a warm bath,' contrasting it with the ' prick 
of a pin'; the 'little neuralgiac pain, fine as a cobweb,' 
comparing it with the 'vast discomfort of a colic or a lum- 
bago ' ; and the voluminousness of the ' complex flavor . . . 
of roast meat or plum pudding ' or of the ' heavy odors 
like musk or tube rose.' In all these cases introspection 

Developed Consciousness of Ex tensity 95 

is difficult, because it is so easy to mistake for a new sort 
of extensity, what is really an image of the visual extensity, 
or bigness, of the bodily area which is affected. For this 
reason, we shall not attempt even a tentative decision of 
the disputed question. 


The most fruitful source of difficulty, in the study of the 
consciousness of extensity, is the constant confusion of the 
elemental extensity feeling with the developed and com- 
plex consciousness of breadth or of depth or of figure. We 
shall try, therefore, to distinguish with care the complex 
from the elemental experience. It should be noted that 
only ideas of visual and of pressure extensity have attained 
any marked complexity. For lack, indeed, of a high 
degree of development, the very existence of sound-bigness 
is often denied most unjustly, because the crude feeling 
of extensity can be better observed in the relative simpli- 
city of a sound idea than in the confused tangle of a visual 
or of a pressure idea. 

The primitive pressure-extensity and visual bigness 
have given place to two main forms of consciousness of 
the spatial : 


The consciousness of surface or ' spread-out-ness ' is 
sometimes supposed to be an elemental experience. James 
suggests this view by the expression ' breadth-feeling,' but 
closer introspection shows that the feeling of spread-out- 
ness (so far as the term is not a mere synonym for ' big- 
ness ') is the consciousness of a complex of related lines 
or points or angles, and therefore no elemental experience. 

The study of this complex experience does not belong 
to our present discussion of elements of consciousness ; it 

96 Developed Consciousness of Extensity 

is indeed a subject of such technical difficulty that it can- 
not profitably be undertaken by the elementary student. 
It will be convenient, however, to consider briefly in this 
section certain features of the developed consciousness of 
surface. Its centre and nucleus is the elemental feeling of 
extensity or bigness. With this is combined, in the second 
place, a consciousness of certain bodily movements, usually 
of eye or hand, which may be actually performed or merely 
imagined. The incorrect 'empirical' account of the 
sensation of extensity 1 turns out, therefore, to be a good 
account of the developed consciousness of surface. My 
consciousness of the outline or figure of a church spire is 
distinguished from my consciousness of its clock, because 
the one includes the sensations from long upward move- 
ments of my eye, whereas the other contains sensations 
from a sort of circular sweep of the eyeball. The differ- 
ence between rectilinear and circular figures is the most 
fundamental of the distinctions based on these bodily 

The consciousness of surface may include, in the third 
place, the consciousness of the subdivision of surfaces. 2 
A rectangle, for example, may be thought of as a com- 
bination of two triangles or of four rectangles, and as sub- 
divided in innumerable other ways. This consciousness of 
subdivided surface is doubtless brought about by compar- 
ing with each other objects of different size and shape ; and 
it involves what we shall later know as relational feelings : 
the consciousness of ' whole ' and of ' part/ 

We may have, finally, the spatial consciousness of the 
locality or position of a figure with reference to another 
figure. Such a consciousness of locality includes (i) the 
consciousness of the first figure, (2) the consciousness of 
the second figure, with which the first is compared, (3) a 
relational feeling of the connection of the one with the 
other, (4) the consciousness of the surface between the 

J Cf. p. 90. 2 Cf. James, op. cit., II., p. 167 seq. 

Consciousness of Distance or Depth 97 

two, and (5) the consciousness of the direction, right or left 
and up or down, of one from the other. This consists, in 
whole or in part, in imagined movements for most of us, 
eye-movements. When, for example, I am conscious of 
my collie as lying to the right of his kennel, I imagine the 
sensations which would be involved in moving the eye so 
as to bring the retinal images of collie and kennel succes- 
sively upon the point of clearest vision. 


We unquestionably have a consciousness of the depth 
of objects or of their distance. " It is impossible," James 
says, 1 " to lie on one's back on a hill, to let the empty abyss 
of blue fill one's whole visual field, and to sink deeper 
and deeper into the merely sensational consciousness re- 
garding it, without feeling that an indeterminate, palpitat- 
ing, circling feeling of depth is as indefeasibly one of its 
attributes as its breadth." In somewhat the same way, 
as James quotes from Hering, darkness seems to us to 
' fill ' a room instead of covering its walls, and a transpar- 
ent cube appears more ' roomy ' than the ' mere surface ' 
of an opaque one. 

We are therefore concerned to discover the nature of 
the consciousness of depth. And we are met at the outset 
by the theory, embodied by James in the words 'depth 
feeling,' that it is an element of consciousness. At first 
thought, it does indeed seem to contain an elemental, a 
distinct experience, unlike any other, and like only to it- 
self. But closely scrutinized, this elementalness turns out 
to be the mere vague consciousness of extensity, and that 
which distinguishes the depth-consciousness from other 
forms of extensity-consciousness is rather the dim con- 
sciousness of one's whole body in motion, the experience 
of what Mill describes 2 as 'muscular motion unimpeded.' 

1 op. dt. t II., p. 212. 

2 " Examination of Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy," Vol. I., Chapter 13, 
p. 282. 


98 Developed Consciousness of Extensity 

The epithets ' palpitating ' and ' circling,' applied by 
James in the passage quoted, to what he names the feel- 
ing of depth, suggest that the consciousness of the depth 
of the blue sky and the roominess of the dark enclosure 
are really a vague realization of this freedom of possible 
movement. Thus, my consciousness of the depth of the 
sky includes an indistinct image of my body as moving up- 
ward ; and the roominess of the dark room implies my grop- 
ing motions. My consciousness of an object as a volume 
and not a mere surface includes very definitely, to the intro- 
spection of the writer, an image of my body moving about 
in such a way as to see also the hidden side and back of 
the object. In other words, every experience of depth 
includes an elemental feeling of extensity, and beyond 
this not a specific ' depth feeling ' but a consciousness 
of the movements of the body. In favor of this interpre- 
tation, and against the theory of a definite depth-sensation, 
an argument from the physical side may be adduced in 
support of our introspection. Bishop Berkeley long ago 
called attention to the fact that no point, situated directly 
behind a fixated point, can by any possibility affect the 
retina. " Distance," he said, 1 " of itself and immediately 
cannot be seen. For distance being a line directed end- 
wise to the eye, it projects only one point in the fund of 
the eye. Which point remains invariably the same, whether 
the distance be longer or shorter." But this situation of 
one point directly behind another is of course the only case 
of absolute depth, for the position of an object in which 
some points are behind others, but also at one side of them, 
gives the effect of surface or spread-outness. The only 
fair physical test, therefore, of the existence of depth- 
sensations seems to rule out the possibility of them. 

On the physiological side, also, there is a certain diffi- 
culty for the hypothesis of a particular sensation of visual 
depth. The only physiological explanation which can be 


Essay towards a New Theory of Vision.' 

Consciousness of Distance or Depth 99 

given of these alleged sensations of visual depth is the 
following : when one looks at an object with the two 
eyes, the right eye undoubtedly sees slightly more on the 
right and the left eye a little more on the left of the object, 
so that the images which it produces on the retina differ a 
little in the two eyes ; and the difference increases with 
the distance of the object. 1 Corresponding, it is said, with 
this double retinal stimulation and with the cerebral ac- 
tivity which accompanies it, is the consciousness of visual 
depth or voluminousness. But this explanation altogether 
overlooks the fact that the two eyes ordinarily function as 
one, probably because from each retina fibres of the optic 
nerve go to the occipital lobe of each hemisphere ; and it 
accordingly is not very probable that any elemental experi- 
ence results from the slight difference of the retinal images. 
It is fair to conclude that the existence of specific depth- 
sensations is wholly unproved. Both breadth and depth 
may best be defined as visual or tactual experiences, in- 
volving a consciousness of motion and including, as their 
nucleus, the sensational experience of mere crude extensity. 
Breadth and depth are differentiated in that the motor idea 
included in consciousness of breadth is that of motion of a 
limited part of the body, as eyeballs or fingers; whereas 
the consciousness of depth requires also the idea of 
motion of my body as a whole, from one position to an- 
other. Depth or distance, therefore, is not perceived until 
one has gained the consciousness of the peculiarly constant 
combination of visual, pressure and pain sensations which 
one calls one's own body. Mere sensations of extensity, 
on the other hand, may accompany a baby's very first 
color and light sensations, and may precede by many weeks 
his acquaintance with his body. The consciousness of dis- 
tance thus includes (i) a feeling of crude extensity, (2) a 
certain consciousness of the relation of objects, (3) a more 

1 For experiments cf. Sanford, 212-217; Titchener, 42. Cf. Titchener, 
"Outline," 44. 

ioo Developed Consciousness of Extensity 

or less vague consciousness of movements, of my body as 
a whole, toward or around an object, and (4) the sensa- 
tions due to lessened convergence of the eyes. When, for 
example, I look from a boulder six feet away to a light- 
house a mile distant, the angle of vision becomes more 
acute, that is to say, the pupils of the eyes turn away from 
each other, and I get sensations of pressure from the 
muscle contractions which bring about the movement. 

It should be added that the consciousness of distance 
is often occasioned by the observation of certain visual 
characteristics of an object, 'signs of distance,' as they are 
called. The consciousness of dimness of color and of hazy 
outlines, and of the reduced size of a familiar object is 
followed by the consciousness of the object's distance. 

This discussion of the extensity-consciousness has so 
far left out of account a distinction which has often con- 
fused the point at issue. The sensational theory has been 
supposed to imply that the consciousness of extensity is 
innate, and has accordingly gone by the name of the 
nativistic theory of space. On this basis the ' nativists ' 
have occasionally argued, from the exactness of the motor 
adjustments of new-born animals, that an innate conscious- 
ness of space relations is possible. Because chicks, which 
are hooded as soon as they leave the shell, are able when 
first unhooded on the second day to pick up grains of 
corn, 1 it is argued that they are innately conscious of the 
position of the grains of corn. To this argument, the 
opponent of the nativist theory rightly retorts that the na- 
tivist's argument from the reactions of young animals loses 
sight, first, of the fact that these may be merely uncon- 
scious reflexes, and second, of the impossibility of arguing 
from the animal to the human consciousness. 

The upholders of the opposite hypothesis the genetic 
theory, as from this point of view it is called then argue 

1 Cf. D. A. Spaulding, Macmillan's Magazine, Vol. XXVI., esp. 283-287. 

Summary of Doctrine of Extensity 101 

positively that there can be no innate consciousness of 
space because of the uncertainties of a baby's early motions, 
its efforts to seize the moon and its inability to grasp the 
object close before it, and because of the long training 
necessary to enable a patient recovered from blindness to 
calculate the size and distance of an object. 1 But these 
arguments prove only, what no one ever doubted, that 
exact measurements of depth and distance are the results 
of education ; they certainly do not prove the utter absence 
of crude, elemental experiences of extensity, in the earliest 
hours of consciousness. 

Even more serious than the insufficiency of both argu- 
ments is the false conception which underlies them. The 
truth is that an elemental, sensational consciousness is 
not necessarily innate. On the contrary, an experience, 
though absent in the first moments or days or months of 
the individual human life, may prove, when it appears, 
to be a distinct and unanalyzable, and therefore, an ele- 
mental form of consciousness. The sensational character 
of extensity would not, therefore, be disproved, though it 
were shown to be a later, not an innate, experience. But 
the truth is that, in the nature of the case, the problem 
of innateness is as insoluble as it is unessential. 

The conclusions of this whole difficult discussion may 
now be summarized: (i) What is ordinarily called the 
consciousness of the spatial is a sensational experience of 
mere ' bigness ' or ' crude extensity,' varying with dif- 
ferent sense-types but most developed in vision and in 
touch. (2) This extensity-consciousness has a probable 
physiological correlate, the diffusion of excitation, that is, 
the number of nerve-elements which are excited. (3) Vis- 
ual and pressure extensities are combined with other, and 
especially with motor elements, and thus merged in very 
complex experiences of two sorts, breadth and depth. 

1 Cf. Bibliography. 

IO2 The Consciousness of Extensity 

(4) The consciousness of breadth, or surface, is a complex 
experience including extensity, and the consciousness of 
motion of the eye and the limbs. (5) The consciousness 
of depth or distance is a complex idea including extensity, 
or bigness, and the consciousness of the motion both of 
eye and limbs and of the body as a whole. 


WITH the end of our outline study of all reputed sense- 
elements of consciousness comes a natural opportunity 
to review our results and to define our terms from the 
vantage ground of a completed examination of the facts. 
The element of consciousness has already been defined 
as a distinct and further unanalyzable feeling, or fact of 
consciousness. This definition has been justified by the 
discovery, in our complex experience, of a multitude of 
such indescribable and irreducible elements. The concep- 
tion of ' sensational element,' we have, however, taken for 
granted, and we have now, therefore, to frame a definition 
of it. The definition must of course take account of the 
elements of consciousness already enumerated as sensa- 
tional, and must definitely mark them off from others in 
a class by themselves. A careful review of the psychic 
phenomena which we have called sensational elements 
discloses the following general characteristic : sensational 
elements are actually present in every concrete, conscious 
experience. However lofty one's thought, or however 
impassioned one's emotion, whether one reflect on the 
infinite, or thrill with the love of humanity, always, in- 
cluded within the experience, are sensational elements, 
those, for example, which make up the verbal images 
' humanity ' and 'infinite,' and the feelings of quickened or 
retarded breath which make part of one's emotional ex- 
perience. It must be noted carefully, that this character- 
istic, invariable occurrence, is in no sense a part of the 
sensational element itself. On the contrary, the element, 


IO4 Sensational Element and Sensation 

as we know, is simple and unanalyzable, mere blueness, or 
loudness, or bigness. The fact that sensational elements 
are always present in our experience is only discovered by 
after reflection, and is, therefore, a fact about the sensa- 
tional element, not a fact within it. This reflectively 
observed characteristic may be named the psychological 
criterion of the sensational element, because it is estab- 
lished without reference to any physiological and physical 

But psychology does also correlate its facts, for purposes 
of classification, with the facts of physics and physiology. 
The physiological criterion of the sensational element is the 
fact that, corresponding with every sensational element, 
there is some assignable change, both in an area of the brain 
and in a peripheral nerve end-organ. This statement, of 
course, does not imply that the unsensational psychic ele- 
ments are without corresponding neural excitation ; on the 
other hand, we have reason to suppose that every element 
of every emotion, belief or volition is physiologically con- 
ditioned by some change within the nervous system. What 
is asserted is merely, first, that the neural excitation of the 
sensational element is more readily assigned, and second, 
that this neural excitation involves peripheral organs of 
the body. By ' peripheral organs ' are meant, in this con- 
nection, all parts of the body outside the brain and spinal 
cord, for example, the retina, the basilar membrane, the 
taste-bulbs, and the joint-surfaces. The excitation of 
these peripheral organs is conveyed by nerve-fibres to the 
brain, and the cerebral excitation is, as we have seen, the 
immediately antecedent condition of the sensational con- 

The situation of most of the important sense-organs, 
near the surface of the body, explains the possibility of 
assigning a third characteristic of the sensational element. 
This may be named its physical criterion, and may be 
formulated thus : for almost every sensational element 
there is a distinct physical condition. Thus, the rate of 

Sensational Quality and Intensity 105 

ether- vibrations is the physical condition of each color; 
the amplitude of the vibrations is the condition of each 
brightness or color-intensity, and the rate of atmosphere- 
vibrations is the condition of each musical pitch. 

Within the class of sensational elements, thus marked 
off from others, psychological method recognizes three 
sub-classes, usually distinguished as qualities, intensities, 
and extensities. The fundamental ground for this division 
is the observed distinctness of these groups of elements, 
the fact that hues and pitches and tastes seem, from one 
point of view, to belong together, and to be equally distinct 
from brightnesses, loudnesses, and taste-intensities, or from 
visual and auditory bignesses. But besides this immedi- 
ately observed distinctness, the sensational qualities differ, 
as has been shown, from intensities and from extensities, 
by their incapacity for direct serial arrangement. 1 Aside 
from what may be called the complex series in which sen- 
sational qualities may figure (color-series like ' red, orange, 
yellow, yellow-green,' or tone-series like C-CE-EG, in 
which the likeness of the successive terms is due to the 
presence of identical elements), sensational qualities are 
also capable of simple serial arrangement. Such series as 
'red, yellow, green, blue/ or C-D-E-F are illustrations. 
Now the serial character of this succession is due to an 
increase, not of the quality, but of the difference. In other 
words, the consciousness of 'more/ which characterizes 
every step of a series, attaches itself, not directly to each 
quality, but to the recognized likeness or difference of each 
quality as compared with its neighbors. Fully expressed 
such a tone-series is not, therefore, C-D-E-F-G, nor yet : 


D more C 

,.. f more D 

n, J 

[ still more C 

1 The theory of the series underlying the distinctions which follow is stated 
by James in " Principles of Psychology," Vol. I., pp. 489 seq., 530 seq. Cf. also 

io6 Sensational Quality, Intensity and Extensity 

but rather, as has been shown already, 


D different from C 

,., f different from D 

. . J 

[ more different from C 

f different from E 
F . . . J more different from D 

[ still more different from C 

Intensities, on the other hand, and extensities, are capa- 
ble of direct, simple serial arrangement. The increase is 
of the intensity or the extensity, that is, the 'feeling of 
more/ as James calls it, is directly connected with the 
consciousness of ' bright ' or ' loud ' or ' big,' and our series 
become 'bright more bright still more bright,' 'loud 
-more loud still more loud/ 'big more big still 
more big/ and so on. 

The attempt to indicate a similar psychological distinc- 
tion of extensity from intensity has, so far as the writer is 
concerned, been unsuccessful. As has been shown, how- 
ever, the extensity has distinct physiological and physical 
conditions. From the consideration of the psychic expe- 
rience we shall, therefore, proceed to an enumeration of 
physiological correlates. 

The physiological condition of the sense-quality is ad- 
mitted to be the locality of the excitation. For example, 
the physiological explanation of the sensational element 
blueness is the fact that it is preceded by excitation of the 
retina and of the occipital lobe ; the explanation of the 
sensational element bitterness is the excitation, first, of a 
taste-papilla on the back part of the tongue, and second, 
(in all probability) of an area of the temporal lobe. Our 
more detailed study of these physiological conditions has 
shown, to be sure, great gaps in our knowledge of neural 

throughout, " Elements of Conscious Complexes," M. W. Calkins, Psychological 
Revien', VII., 377, from which certain paragraphs are transferred. For brief 
discussion of duration, as alleged conscious element, cf. App. VIII. 

Physiological and Physical Conditions 107 

localization, but everybody admits the general correspond- 
ence of sensational quality with neural locality. 

At first sight there seems, however, no distinct physio- 
logical condition for the sense-intensity, but, on the other 
hand, intensity as well as quality seems to vary with the 
place of excitation of the nerve endings and centres. The 
excitation of the basilar membrane and the temporal lobe 
seems to occasion the feeling of loudness as well as that 
of pitch ; and the excitation of retina and occipital lobe 
appears to condition the sensational intensity, the bright- 
ness, as well as the sensational quality, the color. Because 
of this alleged absence of a specific physiological condi- 
tion, many psychologists have indeed refused to admit the 
intensity as a sensational element coordinate with the 
quality. Now we must first oppose to this view the truth, 
that no argument from physiology can stand against the 
testimony of consciousness to the distinct and irreducible 
character of the sense-intensity. We have, however, no 
need to admit that there is no assignable physiological 
correlate of sense-intensity, for there are innumerable vari- 
ations in the degree of excitation of the given end-organ 
and brain-centre ; and we may well suppose that delicately 
graded intensities correspond directly with the different 
degrees of energy with which the nerve-cells of end-organs 
and brain are decomposed. 

As physiological correlate of sensational elements of 
extensity, we may finally suggest the specific relation of 
these feelings of extensity to the number of nerve-cells 
excited at a given time. The more extensive color or 
pressure is, on this view, conditioned by the greater num- 
ber of retinal or Meissner cells and of cerebral cells which 
are decomposed, at a given time. 

The physical criteria of the different types of sensa- 
tional elements are even less certainly known, and this is 
natural, since there are so few sorts of physical stimulus 
about which we can even make plausible guesses. It is, 
however, possible to observe in physical stimuli the mode, 

io8 Physical Stimuli of Sensational Elements 

degree and complexity of stimulation, and these distinc- 
tions correspond in general with those of the locality, de- 
gree and number of the physiological processes. Thus, 
the quality normally varies with the different modes of 
physical stimulation. In the case of most sensations, this 
distinction can only be indicated roughly by the use of the 
terms ' mechanical,' ' thermal ' and ' chemical stimulus ' ; 
but the better-known stimuli of visual and auditory sense- 
elements are distinguished from each other by the dif- 
ference in the vibratory medium, ether or atmosphere. 
Moreover, each distinct element of a given quality, the 
red, green, blue or yellow, the C, D, E or F, is conditioned 
by a definite rate of ether or of air vibration. The inten- 
sities of these different sensation-classes vary with the 
degrees of the excitation (in the case of ether and air 
vibrations, with the amplitudes of the waves). And finally, 
the extensities vary with the complexity of stimulation, 
for example, with the complexity of ether-waves or atmo- 
spheric vibrations of similar length and amplitude. 

This relation of the psychical element to the physical 
stimulus is, however, as has been said, merely a normal or 
usual, not a necessary relation. A given sense-element is 
not invariably produced by the mode, degree or amount 
of a definite form of physical energy. On the contrary, 
the sensation following upon excitation of a given nerve- 
fibre is the same, whatever the mode of the physical stimu- 
lus. When the optic nerve, for example, is mechanically 
stimulated by the internal jar from a fall, we 'see stars,' 
that is to say, the sensation is the characteristic one of 
light; and when a 'cold-spot,' the skin which covers an 
end-organ of cold, is mechanically stimulated, an experi- 
ence not of pressure but of cold is the result. This phe- 
nomenon, known as the specific energy of nerve-substance, 
is a striking illustration of the truth that psychical facts 
are direct accompaniments, not of physical, but of physio- 
logical phenomena. There is, therefore, only a normal, 
not a constant, physical criterion of the sense-element. 

Criteria of Sense-elements 109 

All these criteria may be grouped together in the follow- 
ing summary : 

A. Criteria of All Elements of Consciousness : Distinctness and 


B. Criteria of Sensational Elements. 

I. General criteria. 

a. Always present, conceivably without elements of another 


b. Conditioned by definite form 1 of peripheral and of central 


c. Originally conditioned (except pain) by definite form of 

physical stimulation. 

a. Criteria of sensational qualities. 

1. Capable of indirect, simple serial arrangement only. 

2. Varying with locality of physiological excitation. 

3. Varying with mode of physical stimulation. 

b. Criteria of sensational intensities. 

1. Capable of direct, simple serial arrangement. 

2. Varying with degree (and with locality) of physiological 


3. Varying with degree of physical stimulation. 

c. Criteria of sensational extensities. 

1 . Capable of direct, simple serial arrangement. 

2. Varying with diffiision (and with locality) of physiological 


3. Varying with complexity of physical stimulus. 

By still another table we may summarize the different 
elements themselves, grouping them into sensations, that 
is, into complexes of invariably combined sensational ele- 
ments. There is no color, for example, which is not bound 
up with a certain brightness and a certain bigness, and no 
pitch which is not combined with loudness and volume. 
Therefore, the combined color, brightness and bigness are 
called a visual sensation, and the combined pitch or noise- 
quality, loudness and volume are called an auditory sensa- 
tion. Some psychologists accordingly regard the sensation 
as the unit of psychology, and speak of the sensational 
elements, the quality, intensity and extensity, as attributes 
of the sensation. 

no Sensational Element and Sensation 


(Psychic nature) 

(Intensity) (Extensity) 


a. i. Color 
2. Colorless 

( Organ stimulated ) 
(Periph.) (Central) 


.I Length of 


b. Brightness 

(degree of 


c. Bigness 

(degree of Amplitude 
excitation) o f waves 

(number of ,. (number of of simul- 
cells excited) cells excited) taneous 




a. i. Tone 
2. Noise 


Length of 

b. Loudness 

(degree of 


(degree of Amplitude 

er. Volume 



cell. excited) 


Mucous MEM- 

a. Taste 

6. Taste-intensity 

c. Taste-extensity (?) 

(degree of 

(extent of 

of waves 




Mode of 

(degree of Degree of 
excitation) stimulus 

(number of Amount of 
cells excited) stimulus 




Mucous MEM- 




a. Smell 

b. Smell-intensity 

c. Smell-extensity (?) 

(degree of 

(extent of 


Mode of 


(degree of) Degree of 

excitation) stimulus 

(number of Amount of 
celli excited) stimulus 


a. Pressure-quality 

b. Pressure-intensity 

c. Pressure-extensity 

cells (?) in 

- Cutis 
| Joints 
' Muscles (?) 



The Psycho-physic Law 



a. Cold i 

b. Warmth 1 

c. Hotness l 

End-organs in Rolandic Mechanical 
cutis, etc. region and Thermal 

End-organs in 
cutis, mem- 
branketc. re S 1On StimuluS 



in tendons 



stimulus by 


weight or 

internal pull 

An illustration of the relative interdependence of physi- 
cal and psychical phenomena will conclude this chapter. 
It is formulated in what is named the psycho-physic law, 2 
that is, in general outline, the probability that sensations 
vary regularly but not directly with the quantitative varia- 
tions of their physical stimuli. Many illustrations of this 
law are matters of everyday observation. A room grows 
lighter with the number of lighted gas jets, but a single jet 
more in a brilliantly illuminated room does not make it 
observably lighter ; the feelings of pressure and of strain- 
intensity change with the addition of weights to an 
extended arm, but the addition of a single ounce to a four- 
pound weight cannot be distinguished. The early psycho- 
logical experimenters confined themselves closely to the 
verification and extension of this law, first suggested by 
E. H. Weber and later minutely discussed and formulated 
by G. T. Fechner. The experiments, which have dealt 
exclusively with sensation-intensities, have resulted in the 
following general conclusion : to obtain a series of sensa- 

1 The specific mention of quality, intensity and (probable) extensity is 
here omitted, and should be supplied. 

2 Cf. Bibliography. 

112 The Psycho-physic Law 

tion-intensities, just perceptibly different from each other, 
the series of physical stimuli must differ, one from the 
other, by a certain definite proportion. The proportion 
varies with the form of stimulus : the degree of sound 
stimulus must increase by one-third, of gaseous olfactory 
stimulus by about one-fourth, of mechanical surface stimu- 
lus by one-twentieth, of mechanical pull by one-fortieth, 
and of light stimulus by one one-hundredth. For example, 
if one can just tell the difference between weights of one 
hundred and one hundred and five grams applied to the 
ends of the fingers, one will not be able to distinguish 
weights of two hundred and two hundred and five grams, 
but will barely discriminate weights of two hundred and 
two hundred and ten. 




IT needs no text-book in psychology to convince us that 
our analysis of consciousness is incomplete when we have 
merely enumerated the sense-elements. For, quite as 
prominent as the sights and sounds and fragrances and 
all the other sensational parts of our experience are the 
pleasantnesses and unpleasantnesses. Now these are 
clearly elemental feelings. One can no more tell what one 
means by agreeableness or by disagreeableness, than one 
can tell what redness and warmth and acidity are : in other 
words, these are irreducible experiences, and they are per- 
fectly distinct from each other as well as from the sensa- 
tional elements. 

From the class of sense-elements they are, however, 
plainly differentiated. Unlike sensational elements, the 
affections are not always present in consciousness, and 
cannot conceivably occur by themselves without belonging, 
as it were, to elements of another sort. The fact that 
we are not always conscious of either pleasantness or 
unpleasantness is ordinarily expressed by saying that 
much of our everyday experience is ' indifferent ' to us. 
Another characteristic is clearly shown by the reflec- 
tion that we are conscious, not of agreeableness or disa- 
greeableness by itself, but always of an agreeable or 
disagreeable somewhat, of a pleasant familiarity, for 
example, or of an unpleasant taste. These distinctions, of 
course, are not immediate constituents of either pleasant- 
i 113 

H4 Pleasantness and Unpleasantness 

ness or unpleasantness, that is to say, when one is con- 
scious of pleasure one does not necessarily say to oneself, 
" this experience might have been perfectly indifferent, and 
the pleasantness of it belongs to its brilliant color." On the 
contrary, these are only possible after-reflections about 
the agreeableness or disagreeableness. The fact that the 
affections are not always present in consciousness, and that 
they seem, as has been said, to ' belong to ' other elements, 
may be indicated by calling them ' attributive ' elements of 

Some psychologists, notably Wundt, 1 express this rela- 
tion by calling the affection an ' attribute ' of sensation. 
There are two objections to this conception, as usually held. 
In the first place, it often treats the affection as if it were 
exactly on a par with sensational quality, intensity and 
extensity, forgetting that these invariably occur together, 
whereas the affection is, as we have seen, sometimes lack- 
ing. For example, a visual object is always colored, bright, 
and extended, but not always either pleasant or unpleasant. 
In the second place, the definition of affection as attribute 
of sensation leaves no room for a pleasantness which be- 
longs, not to sensations, but to unsensational experiences. 
The familiarity, for example, not the color of a landscape, 
may be its pleasant feature. This possibility will later be 
discussed more fully. The term ' attributive ' is used in this 
book to contrast the affections with the sensations, which 
James calls ' substantive ' facts of consciousness. 

Reflective introspection thus" discloses that affections are 
not invariably present, and that they occur in close rela- 
tion with non-affective experiences. We have now to go 
beyond mere introspection, and to discover, if we can, the 
physical stimuli and the physiological excitations of the 
affections. At once there appears a marked distinction 
between sensational and affective elements. For the affec- 

1 " Physiologische Psychologic," 4te Aufl., I., p. 281. (In the fifth edition, 
Wundt regards the affection as itself an element.) 

Physical Condition 1 1 5 

tions have no definite physical stimulus, no distinct form 
of physical energy which corresponds with them, in the 
way in which vibrations of the ether normally condition 
sensations of color, and atmospheric waves condition sen- 
sations of sound. 

This independence of physical stimulation is admitted 
by everybody, so far as the mode of physical stimulus is 
concerned. Ether or atmosphere vibrations, and mechan- 
ical or electrical, liquid or gaseous, stimulus may bring 
about now a pleasant, now an unpleasant, now a perfectly 
indifferent, experience. It is true that certain sense-quali- 
ties, pain and probably also certain smells and tastes, are 
always unpleasant, and there may be certain sense-qualities 
which are always pleasant ; but, none the less, every class 
of sense-qualities (except pain) includes both agreeable 
and disagreeable experiences; and many sense-qualities 
are sometimes pleasant, at other times unpleasant and 
again indifferent. 1 It follows, as has been said, that the 
affective tone cannot vary with the mode of physical 

Some psychologists have, however, supposed that a 
definite relation may be found between the degree and 
possibly also the duration of physical stimulation and 
the affective experience. This relation is usually formu- 
lated as follows : any stimulus of great intensity, and 
many stimuli of prolonged duration, occasion unpleasant- 
ness, whereas stimuli of medium intensity bring about 
pleasantness, 2 and very faint stimuli excite indifferent 
experiences. But this is not an accurate statement of the 
facts. Both moderate stimuli and even stimuli, which at 
one time are strong enough to be unpleasant, may become 
indifferent for example, workers in a factory may grow 
indifferent to the buzz of the wheels which is intolerable to 
visitors ; and low intensities, for instance, the faint pressure 

1 Cf. Kiilpe, op. cit., 37, 5 and 6. For experiment, cf. Titchener, 34. 

2 Cf. statement and illustrative diagram, Wundt, op. cit., 4te Aufl., I., 558; 
and Kulpe, op. cit., 37. 

n6 Pleasantness and Unpleasantness 

of fingers on the skin, are sometimes pleasant. The pleas- 
antness and unpleasantness of all save sensational experi- 
ences of great intensity seem to depend, so far as they may 
be explained, not on the physical intensity of their stimuli, 
but on two other factors : the unexpectedness and the inter- 
mittence of the stimuli. The constantly repeated stimulus, 
unless very strong, is indifferent, whereas the unexpected 
stimulus occasions pleasure. 

We have thus been unsuccessful in the effort to discover 
definite physical stimuli of the affections. We have, how- 
ever, reached certain positive, though as yet uncoordinated, 
results. Very intense and intermittent stimuli occasion 
unpleasantness ; unexpected stimuli of moderate intensity 
usually excite pleasure ; and habitual stimuli are indifferent. 
A further consideration of these results of our inquiry leads 
us to a study of the physiological conditions of affective 
elements of consciousness. These, however, can be only 
hypothetically assigned, because they have eluded discovery 
by direct experimental or by pathological methods. We 
must proceed cautiously in the absence of direct experi- 
ment, but we are safe in asserting, first of all, that there 
are no peripheral or surface end-organs of pleasantness or 
unpleasantness, since such end-organs could only be ex- 
cited by special physical stimuli, of which, as we have seen, 
there are none. The physiological excitations of the affec- 
tions evidently, therefore, occur within the brain. It is 
also probable that pleasantness and unpleasantness are not 
brought about by the excitation of the sensory cells in the 
brain, that is, of the cells directly connected by afferent 
nerves with the surface end-organs. For variation in the 
locality of these functioning cells, in the degree of their 
excitation, and in the number excited, have been seen to 
correspond, in all probability, with sensational qualities, 
intensities and extensities. 

Bearing in mind that any theory of physiological condi- 
tions is uncertain, until it has been verified by experimental 
observation, we may still profitably guess at the physio- 

Physiological Condition 117 

logical basis for the affections. In the writer's opinion, the 
most plausible account of this physiological condition is 
the following : pleasantness and unpleasantness are occa- 
sioned by the excitation of fresh or of fatigued cells in the 
frontal lobes of the brain, and this frontal lobe excitation 
is conveyed by fibres from the motor cells of the Rolandic 
area of the brain. When the cells of the frontal lobes, 
because of their well-nourished and unfatigued condition, 
react more than adequately to the excitation which is 
conveyed to them from the Rolandic area, an experience 
of pleasantness occurs ; when, on the other hand, the cells 
of the frontal lobe, because they are ill-nourished and 
exhausted, react inadequately to the excitation from the 
Rolandic area, then the affection is of unpleasantness; 
when, finally, the activity of frontal lobe cells corresponds 
exactly to that of the excitation, the given experience is 
neither pleasant nor unpleasant, but indifferent. 

Important considerations favor this theory. It accords, 
in the first place, with an established fact concerning the 
structure of the brain : the area about the fissure of Rolando 
is known to be closely connected with every sensory centre 
of the brain, and to be connected also with the frontal 
lobes ; a stimulation from without, conveyed to a sense- 
centre of the brain, would be likely, therefore, to spread to 
the Rolandic centre, and might be carried even further to 
the frontal lobes. 

There is, moreover, a certain antecedent probability that 
the excitation of cells of the frontal lobes should condition 
the affections: the fact that sensations are conditioned by the 
excitation, not of fibres, but of cells in the brain, suggests 
the probability that the affections also are occasioned 
by cell-activity ; but it has been found to be probable that 
excitation of cells in the sense-centres does not condition 
the affections ; there remain the cells of the two associa- 
tion-centres, as Flechsig calls them, 1 and it is likely that 

1 Cf. Appendix, Section I., I. 

n8 Pleasantness and Unpleasantness 

the forward association-centre, namely, the frontal lobes, 
rather than the hind association-centre should be the area of 
the excitations of affective experience. One reason for this 
conclusion is the following : the affections are, as we have 
seen, very inconstant elements of our consciousness, that 
is to say, we often have perfectly indifferent experiences, 
and the frontal association-centre has least connections 
with the rest of the brain, and is therefore most likely not 
to be excited at a given moment. The study of diseased 
brains has shown, moreover, 1 that injury to the frontal 
lobes has been accompanied by derangements of the 
emotional life. 

This theory, in the third place, accords well with the 
observation that motor bodily changes are the constant 
correlates of pleasant and unpleasant states of mind. 
Everybody realizes that he holds his head higher, makes 
more vigorous movements 2 and often breathes more deeply 
when he is pleased than when he is sorry. 

Our theory, furthermore, relates pleasantness and un- 
pleasantness to admitted and constant bodily processes, 
nutrition and waste, or anabolism and catabolism. For 
it explains the adequate and inadequate response of cells 
in the frontal lobes to excitation from the Rolandic area, as 
due to their well or ill nourished condition, that is, to the 
sufficient or insufficient supply of oxidated blood. 

The theory, finally, can account in a general way for 
those puzzling facts of the affective experience disclosed 
by our unavailing search for a definite physical stimulation. 
These facts, with the corresponding explanations, may be 
grouped as follows: (i) Every mode of physical stimulus 
may occasion either pleasantness or unpleasantness, be- 
cause an excitation may be carried from any sensory centre 
through the Rolandic area to the frontal lobes. (2) No 
stimulus is invariably pleasant or unpleasant because the 

1 Flechsig, " Gehirn u. Seele," pp. 89 seq. 

2 For experiment, cf. Titchener, 36. 

Physiological Condition 119 

frontal lobes are not so closely connected as other centres 
with all parts of the brain. (3) Novel stimuli, unless over 
strong or greatly prolonged, occasion pleasure, because the 
infrequency of the stimulus gives opportunity for the com- 
plete nutrition and upbuilding of cells in the frontal lobes. 
(4) Great degrees of physical stimulation, if they are not 
habitual, occasion a feeling of unpleasantness, because 
they invariably spread to the frontal lobes, which prob- 
ably are readily fatigued. Prolonged stimulation may have 
a similar effect. (5) Intermittent stimuli are perhaps un- 
pleasant for the following reason : they require constant 
changes of muscular adjustment, for example, changes in 
the muscles which focus the eye; this muscular work 
makes unusual draughts on the blood-supply, and the 
frontal lobes are not, therefore, in an adequately nour- 
ished condition. The following analogy (6) may partially 
explain the indifference of habitual stimuli. Repeated 
acts tend to become unconscious ; and this means that the 
lower centres (through which excitations pass to the brain), 
not the brain-centres themselves, are excited. In a similar 
way, it may be that repeated stimuli excite only the sen- 
sory and motor centres, and are not carried through them 
to the remoter frontal lobes. 

This theory of the physiological conditions of pleasant- 
ness and unpleasantness is thus supported by a general 
correspondence with the facts of brain anatomy, and by 
the facility with which it explains the known relations of 
intense, prolonged, novel and habitual stimuli to affective 
experience. Two objections to the theory must be briefly 
considered. 1 It is urged that unpleasantness accompanies 
not merely over-exertion (as this hypothesis supposes), but 
under exercise as well ; the enforced quiet of the school- 
room, for example, is intensely unpleasant to the active 
child. To this it may be replied that, even in such situa- 
tions, certain organs of the body are actually overstrained. 

1 Cf. Marshall, op. cit., Chapter IV., 12 and 13. 

I2O Pleasantness and Unpleasantness 

For instance, the flexing muscles by which the child checks 
the swinging of his feet may be strained in his efforts to 
be quiet. This would indirectly produce the overstimula- 
tion of motor brain-centres, and thus the overstimulation 
and consequent inadequate reaction of the frontal lobes. 
The opposite difficulty, that extremes of bodily exercise 
are sometimes pleasant, may be met by the supposition 
that in these cases the frontal lobes, through some internal 
conditions, are especially well nourished, so that they are 
unfatigued in spite of the high degree of bodily activity. 

This theory of the physiological basis of affection will 
be better understood by comparison with certain theories 
which it closely resembles. It is, in fact, a sort of compos- 
ite of important features of the teaching of Miinsterberg, 
Wundt, Flechsig and Marshall. 

Pleasantness and unpleasantness (which Marshall names 
' pain ') depend, according to the Marshall theory, upon the 
ease or difficulty with which some bodily organ reacts to 
the physical stimulus of any moment; this ease or diffi- 
culty depends upon the ' stored force ' of the stimulated 
organ ; and this force finally depends upon the nutriment 
of the organ. Marshall's condensation of the theory is 
the following : " Pleasure is produced by the use of sur- 
plus stored force in the organ determining the content; 
and pain is determined by the reception of a stimulus to 
which the organ is incapable of reacting completely. In- 
difference occurs where the reaction is exactly equalized to 

the ... stimulus Pleasure thus results when the balance 

is on -the side of the energy given out, and Pain when the 
balance is on the side of the energy received. Where the 
amounts received and given have equivalence, then we have 
the state of Indifference." 1 From this Marshall theory, 
we have borrowed the conception of unpleasantness and 
pleasantness as indirectly due to exhaustion and vigor, and 
as dependent not on the absolute degree of reaction but on 

1 " Pain, Pleasure, and ^Esthetics," Chapter V., 3 and 2, pp. 222 and 221 

Theories of Physiological Condition 121 

the relation of reaction to stimulus. The Marshall theory, 
however, differs from that of this book in an important 
feature. It leaves undetermined the organ which by its 
adequate or inadequate functioning occasions the con- 
sciousness of pleasantness or of unpleasantness. The 
writer of this book believes, on the other hand, that 
there is reason to regard the frontal lobes of the brain 
as ' centres ' of the affective consciousness. 

An allied theory is that of Titchener, who combines 
Wundt's and Flechsig's teaching with Marshall's. Titch- 
ener supposes a the affection to be occasioned not by the 
well or ill nourished condition of some one organ of the 
body, but by the general effect produced by every stimulus 
upon the nervous system of the body as a whole, and thus, 
indirectly, upon the frontal lobes. This general effect is 
either " the building-up process (anabolism) or the break- 
ing-down process (catabolism). . . . The conscious pro- 
cesses," he says, " corresponding to the general processes 
thus set up by stimuli, are termed affections." The affec- 
tions, moreover, he points out, are closely related to motor 
excitations. The theory of this book, while resembling 
Titchener's, teaches that the well or ill nourished condition 
of the frontal lobes of the brain, the immediate occasion of 
pleasantness and unpleasantness, does not always corre- 
spond exactly with the general process anabolic or cata- 
bolic of the body as a whole. 

Our theory, finally, resembles Miinsterberg's, in that he 
teaches that the excitation of motor structures in the brain 
conditions pleasantness and unpleasantness. He does not, 
however, suppose any excitation of the frontal lobes as 
immediate occasion of affective experience ; and his motor 
hypothesis is more detailed than that of this book, for he 
holds that the innervation of cells and fibres connected with 
the extensor muscles conditions pleasantness, and that the 
excitation of cells and fibres connected with the flexor mus- 

i" Outline," 31, 32, 33(2). 

122 Pleasantness and Unpleasantness 

cles conditions unpleasantness. The theory is based on 
experimental observations. A long succession of daily 
records of the errors in distance-estimation in certain simple 
movements unexpectedly disclosed the following facts : 
(i) In moods of pleasure these movements tended to be in 
excess of the normal and (2) in depressed moods, the errors 
tended in the opposite direction. 1 From these results, 
which are supported by biological considerations, Miin- 
sterberg concludes that excitation of extensor and of flexor 
muscles conditions pleasant and unpleasant experiences 
respectively. It is, however, more likely that the vigor- 
ous contraction of any muscle, flexor or extensor, is the 
accompaniment of pleasure, 2 and that the phenomenon 
observed by Miinsterberg is due to the fact, that the normal 
position of many muscles is relative flexion, so that slight 
motions are more apt to be those of the flexor muscles. 

The discussion of the physiological conditions of affec- 
tion suggests certain considerations bearing on two dis- 
puted problems of introspection. The first is the question 
of the number of affective elements. If these are physio- 
logically conditioned by the opposite processes of upbuild- 
ing and dissimilation in the frontal lobes, then there is 
physiological support for the introspective conclusion that 
there are two, and only two, affections, pleasantness and 

The second of these problems may be stated thus : is 
any experience at one and the same moment both pleasant 
and unpleasant ? Unquestionably, we usually suppose that 
such a combination of affections is possible. More than 
one poet has repeated Dante s assertion that sorrow's crown 
of sorrow is the memory of happy days ; and literature is 
full of such expressions as the exclamation of Constance, 
in "King John": - 

1 " Beitrage zur Psychologic," IV., 216. For experiment cf. Titchener, 35. 
See also Primer, 26. 

2 Cf. Lange, " Ueber Gemiithsbewegungen," p. 19. 

Pleasantness and Unpleasantness 123 

"Then have I reason to be fond of grief." 

Many psychologists, nevertheless, insist that the mixed emo- 
tion is impossible. " The total feeling of a given moment," 
Titchener declares, 1 " must be either pleasant or unpleasant ; 
it cannot be both." He proceeds to explain the apparent 
combination of pleasure and unpleasantness in one experi- 
ence as a "quick alternation of pleasurable and unpleasurable 
a see-saw of joy and sorrow in which now the pleasur- 
ble, now the painful, factor is uppermost" The argument 
most emphasized by Titchener, for this incompatibility of 
the two affections, is physiological in its nature. He holds, 
as we have seen, that the condition of the body as a whole, 
either the upbuilding (anabolic) or the decaying (catabolic) 
condition must be uppermost, if indeed they do not equal- 
ize each other. On this supposition, therefore, the result- 
ing affection must at any given moment be agreeableness 
or disagreeableness. On the theory, however, which we 
have adopted, some of the frontal-lobe cells may be in a 
well-nourished condition, and their action may therefore 
be un fatigued, whereas other cells in the frontal lobes 
may respond in an inadequate manner. The result in 
consciousness would be a mixed emotion, both pleasant 
and unpleasant. It must be admitted, therefore, that the 
testimony, on this point, of everyday observation and of 
literature is capable also of justification from the stand- 
point of physiology. 

No attempt will be made to discuss the occurrence and 
the nature of affection-intensities. There may be such 
intensities, but introspection is at this point so difficult 
that the limits of this book preclude consideration of the 

Our more positive, though still, in great part, hypo- 
thetical conclusions, are therefore the following : we find 
in our conscious experience two distinct and unanalyzable 

i Primer," 65. 

1 24 Feelings of Realness 

feelings, pleasantness and unpleasantness, the affective 
elements. These are (i) introspectively distinguished 
from the sensational elements, in that they are not always 
present and are reflectively observed to ' belong to ' other 
elements. They are probably (2) physiologically con- 
ditioned, not by any modification of peripheral end- 
organs, of afferent fibres or of sensory brain-cells, but by 
the excitation of well or ill nourished cells in the frontal 
lobes, directly excited by fibres from motor cells in the 
Rolandic area. There is (3) no definite form of physical 
energy which conditions the affective elements. 


Allied with the affections, the feelings of pleasantness 
and unpleasantness, is another elemental experience, the 
* feeling of realness.' We can most readily illustrate it by 
a contrast. If I compare my memory-image of the ruins 
at Tiryns or of the Doge's palace, which I have seen or of 
which I have read descriptions, with my image of the 
towers of Kubla Khan or of Camelot, I shall find embedded 
in the first experience a certain elemental consciousness, 
a feeling of realness, as we have called it, utterly lacking 
in the poetry images. It is an ' ultimate and primordial ' 
experience, as Stuart Mill says, 1 ' a state of consciousness 
sui generis' to quote James. 2 " It cannot be explained," 
Baldwin rightly comments, " any more than any other feel- 
ing, it must be felt." 3 

For two reasons, the feeling of realness is classed as 
coordinate with the affections. Like the feelings of pleas- 
antness and unpleasantness, it is always realized as belong- 
ing to some element or complex of elements. There is 
always a something which is real : a ' real ' mouse or 
explosion or smell of onion. Like the affections, also, and 

1 Note to James Mill, "Analysis of Human Mind," Vol. I., p. 412. 
a " Principles," Vol. II., p. 287. 8 " Feelings and Will," p. 155. 

Feelings of Realness 125 

unlike the sensations, the feeling of realness is not always 
present : one may look at objects or imagine scenes with- 
out at the same time feeling their reality. This last 
assertion is sometimes disputed, and it must therefore 
be illustrated in some detail. 

We are often, as has been said, conscious of things 
which do not seem to us either ' real ' or ' unreal,' but 
which simply seem to be what they are, for example, red, 
smooth, fragrant, pleasant and familiar, without our being 
at the moment conscious either of their reality or their 
unreality. It is in truth a great mistake to suppose that 
every fact of even the adult consciousness is invariably 
tagged with the epithet 'real' or 'unreal.' True, a 
given experience may always, in our adult life, seem real 
or unreal to us ; but there is every reason to suppose that 
we have hosts of experiences, unclouded by a feeling 
either of their realness or their unrealness. The aesthetic 
consciousness is a good example. Our enjoyment of a 
beautiful scene or object never goes hand in hand with an 
estimate of its reality. For this, as we shall later see, 1 
accompanies the recognition of an idea as connected or 
congruent, whereas the beautiful object is always a self- 
sufficient, isolated, unrelated thing. To be always con- 
cerning oneself about reality is, indeed, an unhealthy, 
narrowing and spoil-sport sort of existence. We all know 
the literal, conscientious type of person who breaks the 
spell which the "Arabian Nights" or "Alice in Wonder- 
land " casts about us, by the stupid observation that it is 
none of it real. Thus challenged, we reply indignantly 
that it is all very real ; yet the truth is, probably, that we 
have up to this time been utterly unconscious of either the 
reality or the unreality of the story which we have been 
living through. 

By all these illustrations, we must try to drive home 
the truth that one is often conscious of things without, 

1 Cf. Chapter XXI., p. 304. 

126 Feelings of Realnes s 

at the moment, feeling either their realness or their unreal- 
ness. The feeling of the not-real is evidently a composite 
of the consciousness of opposition and the consciousness of 
reality. The two experiences grow up, side by side, for 
I am never conscious of unrealness without being at the 
same time conscious of an opposite realness. I am con- 
scious, for example, that Bacon did not really write " The 
Tempest " because of my consciousness that Shakespeare 
really did write it. 

We must next observe that neither the feeling of realness 
nor the feeling of unrealness can be a first experience in 
any life, because both are learned through experience of 
such contrasts as that between percept and image, fulfil- 
ment and hope, execution and volition. In illustration 
of the fact that the feeling of unrealness is not a primitive 
experience, James supposes * ' a new-born mind ' for whom 
experience has begun ' in the form of a visual impression 
of a hallucinatory candle.' " What possible sense," he asks, 
" for that mind would a suspicion have that the candle was 
not real ? . . . When we, the onlooking psychologists, say 
that it is unreal, we mean something quite definite, viz., that 
there is a world known to us which is real, and to which 
we perceive that the candle does not belong. ... By 
hypothesis, however, the mind which sees the candle can 
spin no such considerations about it, for of other facts, 
actual or possible, it has no inkling whatever. The candle 
is its all, its absolute. Its entire faculty of attention is 
absorbed by it." 

From the correct doctrine that the naive mind has no 
inkling of an unreality, James and Baldwin and other 
psychologists draw the erroneous conclusion that the 
undisputed, uncontradicted facts of the primitive con- 
sciousness are felt as real. The " new-born , mind," 
James says, "cannot help believing the candle real," 
because, " the primitive impulse is to affirm the reality of 

i Op. (it., Vol. II., p. 287. 

Feelings of Realness 127 

all that is conceived." But the proof that no primitive 
idea is thought of as unreal falls far short of a proof 
that it is thought of as real ; and, on the contrary, our 
observation of ordinary experience has shown us many 
instances in which we are conscious neither of realness 
nor of unrealness. 

There is no specific physical stimulus to the feeling of 
realness, and in the utter absence of experimental observa- 
tion, it is idle to attempt to assign its physiological condi- 
tion. There is, however, reason to suppose that excitation 
of motor cells and fibres of the brain is involved ; and this 
supposition is in accord with the doctrine that affections 
and the feeling of realness are allied. 


It is probable, or at any rate possible, that such experi- 
ences as are said to be attended to, are characterized by a 
distinct and elemental feeling of clearness, or vividness, or 
attended-to-ness, as it might be called. The problem of 
the nature of attention is, however, so difficult, that a 
special chapter (XL) will be devoted to the discussion of 
it. The attention-element, if it be admitted to exist, must 
certainly be classed with the feelings of pleasantness, un- 
pleasantness and realness, under the head of ' attributive 
elements.' For it is marked by all the characters of this 
group of elements of consciousness : it is not always present; 
it is realized as ' belonging to ' some element or complex, 
which is then said to be 'attended to'; and, unlike the 
sensational elements, it is not conditioned by excitation of 



WE have thus distinguished, in our everyday experience, 
certain irreducible elements, sensational and affective. The 
question, however, remains, Are there any other elements 
of consciousness, that is, are there any simple and distinct 
experiences which are not to be classed as sensational 
elements, of quality, intensity or extensity, or as affective 
elements of pleasantness and unpleasantness ? Two 
schools of psychologists answer this question by a decided 
negative, and we must carefully consider the position of 
each of these groups. 

Most of those who are somewhat inaccurately named 
'sensationalists' assert, as unequivocal result of their 
introspection, that all contents of consciousness, the most 
soaring fancies, the most subtle speculations, as well as 
the most ordinary percepts and the most primitive feelings, 
are reducible in the end to merely sensational and affective 
constituents : to colors, sounds and smells, to organic and 
joint sensations, to visual, auditory and motor word-images, 
and to feelings of pleasure and unpleasantness. 

The intellectualists bring forward a very different theory. 
They teach that our consciousness includes far more than 
mere sensations and affections, a knowledge, namely, of 
relations and ' forms ' of thought, but that this conscious- 
ness of relation is a higher order of psychic reality than 
the mere sensation or affection, so that it may not be 
named an element of consciousness. 

To this second theory we have the right to interpose an 
immediate objection. It is certainly inconsistent to make 


Relational Elements 129 

use of the conception of conscious elements and at the same 
time to limit the range of its application. Either it is 
altogether unjustifiable to regard consciousness as a com- 
plex of analyzable elements, or else, if it is admitted to be 
proper to analyze conscious contents into sensational and 
affective elements, it is also necessary, if introspection dis- 
closes other unanalyzable contents, such as ' like ' and 
* more,' to admit that they also are elements. The intel- 
lectualist says in effect, "While you are treating of per- 
ceptual and even of emotional experience, you may regard 
consciousness as a succession of percepts, images and emo- 
tions, and you may analyze these into their elements ; but 
when you come upon a judgment, a memory or a volition, 
and are conscious of other than sensational and affective ex- 
perience, you must change your point of view and drop your 
conception of elements, and talk only of forms of thought 
or mental activities." But this, as we have seen, is illogical. 
The method is valid throughout or it is utterly invalid. 1 

The intellectualist theory in psychology is practically 
always due to a confusion of metaphysics with psychology. 
It may be traced back at least to Plato's undervaluation of 
sense-realities, and in modern times it is clearly discernible 
in Descartes's exaltation of reason, in Spinoza's treat- 
ment of sense as illusion, and in the curious opposition of 
truths of reason to matters of fact, by which Leibniz con- 
tradicts his own doctrine of the unity of sense and thought. 
The opposition of thought to sense forms the foundation 
of Wolffian philosophy and psychology, but its influence 
on modern thought is most pronounced in the Kantian 
doctrine of the categories, or forms of thought, opposed to 
the matter of sense. 

Admitting that the intellectualists are clearly wrong in 
their theory, that psychology must recognize 'forms of 
thought ' in addition to elements of consciousness, sensa- 
tional and affective, our next question is, Are the sensa- 

1 Cf. " Elements of Conscious Complexes," by M. W. Calkins, Psychologi- 
cal Review , VII., 387. 

130 Relational Elements 

tionalists right in asserting that sensational and affective 
elements of consciousness are the only ones ? The writer 
of this book is convinced that the introspective analysis of 
sensationalists is inadequate. It fails to recognize certain 
undoubted experiences, which are not completely described 
when the sensational and affective elements entering into 
them have been fully enumerated. This means, of course, 
that there are elements of consciousness other than the 
sensational and affective ones. We shall call them ' rela- 
tional elements,' and shall later attempt to justify the name. 
When, for example, I try to match one blue with another, 
the blueness, the colorless light, the brightness and the ex- 
tensity are not the only elements of my consciousness. On 
the contrary, the consciousness of the likeness or difference 
of the given blue, as compared with the standard, is the very 
essence of this experience. Again, when I see a familiar 
picture, in the Salon Carr^ my idea includes, not merely (i) 
the elements of color and form, flesh tints, dull blue, bending 
figures and the like, (2) the verbal image of the names of 
pictures and painter, " Holy Family " by Andrea del Sarto, 
(3) the organic sensations due to my relaxed attitude as I 
come upon a well-known picture, and, finally, (4) a feeling of 
pleasure. Besides all these, and distinct from them, there 
is in this experience a certain feeling of familiarity which 
can neither be identified with sensation and affection nor 
even be reduced to them. 

An attempt to enumerate the relational elements dis- 
closes extraordinary obstacles. They have, as will later 
be explained, no special physical stimuli, and they are 
physiologically conditioned by brain changes only, and not 
by any changes of nerve end-organs. For this reason, 
these relational elements cannot easily be isolated and varied 
by experimental devices ; for experiment, as we have seen, 
must be applied to the stimuli of physical phenomena, and 
not directly to the facts of consciousness themselves. 1 In 

1 Cf. Chapter I., p. n. 

Relational Elements 131 

our study of these relational elements, we are, therefore, 
for the most part thrown back upon individual introspec- 
tion, notoriously untrustworthy and at this point especially 
difficult. We are thus likely to mistake a relatively simple 
and yet analyzable experience for one which is really 
elemental. For all these reasons, it is unwise to attempt 
a complete classification of relational elements. The 
following enumeration is merely tentative ; it is probably 
incomplete, and it very likely includes feelings which are 
not entirely simple. The experiences which it names are, 
however, irreducible to merely sensational and affective 
elements. The feelings of 'one' and of 'many' are 
peculiarly constant elements of this class, that is, they 
seem to lie at the basis of most complex relational experi- 
ences. What James calls the feelings of ' and ' and of 
'but,' that is, the consciousness of connection and of 
opposition, and the feelings of ' like ' and of ' different,' 
of 'more ' and of ' less,' are certainly relational experiences 
and are probably also elemental. Our study of complex 
conscious experiences will disclose certain simple combina- 
tions of these elements as constituents of perception, of 
recognition and of thought. Thus, we shall find recog- 
nition distinguished by a feeling of familiarity, and though 
this is no elemental experience, we shall find that it must 
contain relational elements. What is known as judgment 
involves a feeling of wholeness ; generalization includes a 
feeling of generality ; even perception and imagination are 
distinguished, we shall find, by certain feelings of combina- 
tion and of limitedness. Our later discussion of these 
complex experiences will, therefore, include a closer study 
of the relational elements embedded in them. 

The most vigorous upholder of this theory of relational 
elements is William James. "We ought to say," he in- 
sists, " a feeling of and, a feeling of if, a feeling of but and 
a feeling of by, quite as readily as we say a feeling of blue 
or a feeling of cold." He attributes the ordinary denial of 
these experiences to the difficulty of introspecting them, 

132 Relational Elements 

and the consequent lack of names for many of them. It 
should be added, however, that certain sensationalists, as 
James points out, 1 admit the existence of relational ele- 
ments. Prominent among these writers is Herbert Spen- 
cer, who, in spite of his baffling terminology, clearly teaches 
that there are ' relational feelings ' as well as * conspicuous 
feelings ' (sensations and affections). 

Admitting the existence of relational elements, whether 
or not we can exhaustively enumerate them, we have next 
to discover, if we can, the characteristics which mark them 
off from the simple sensational and attributive experiences. 
This is not, indeed, an easy task. But it cannot be too 
often repeated that an obstinately realized difference be- 
tween one set of psychic phenomena and another, even if 
the difference cannot be analyzed and explained, is never- 
theless a sufficient reason for distinguishing the experi- 
ences. Now there certainly is a recognized difference 
between the feelings of ' like,' ' more ' and ' one,' and the 
feelings of ' red,' ' warm ' and ' pleasant ' ; and this differ- 
ence in itself suffices to mark these off as distinct groups 
of conscious elements. 

We may, however, suggest an explanation of this real- 
ized difference. The relational elements, like the attrib- 
utive, are not necessarily present in all our experience, 
though unquestionably they almost invariably occur. The 
utterly undiscriminated experience, the conscious content 
without observed oneness, likeness or difference, in a 
word, devoid of relational elements, is certainly possible. 
The animal consciousness, the baby consciousness and the 
sleepy consciousness probably approximate to this type. 
From ' attributive,' as well as from ' sensational,' elements, 
relational elements are furthermore distinguished by an- 
other characteristic : each seems, as we reflect upon it, to 
be closely connected with more than one other conscious 
experience. The feelings of ' and,' of * like ' and of ' dif- 

1 Op. cit., Vol. I., p. 247, note. 

Relational Elements 133 

ferent ' obviously require the presence of at least two facts 
which are alike, different, united or contrasted. The feel- 
ings of ' more ' and ' less ' imply a standard and a com- 
pared fact ; and each relational feeling ' belongs,' as it were, 
to these other feelings. 

There is one apparent exception to this statement. The 
feeling of 'one' or ' single' is a relational experience, which 
certainly does not seem to 'belong to' more than one 
feeling other than itself. It may be pointed out, how- 
ever, that we never actually have the feeling of ' one ' 
except as the consciousness of one in contrast with many, 
and that, therefore, the feeling of 'one' itself requires a 
complex experience. 

It is furthermore true that relational feelings are, 
ordinarily, less prominent and less attended to than the 
other experiences to which they are supposed to 'belong.' 
James has laid stress on this characteristic, noticing espe- 
cially the greater duration of the unrelational feelings, 
or ' substantive parts of the stream of thought,' as he calls 
them, as compared with the relational or in his terms 

the 'transitive' states. "As we take," he says, "a 
general view of the wonderful stream of our conscious- 
ness, what strikes us first is this different pace of its 
parts. Like a bird's life, it seems to be made of an alter- 
nation of flights and perchings. The resting-places are 
usually occupied by sensorial imaginations of some sort, 
whose peculiarity is that they can be held before the 
mind for an indefinite time, and contemplated without 
changing ; the places of flight are filled with thoughts 
of relations, static and dynamic, that for the most part 
obtain between the matters contemplated in the periods 
of comparative rest. Let us call the resting-places the 
' substantive parts,' and the places of flight the 'transitive 
parts,' of the stream of thought.'" This greater stability 
and self-dependence of the unrelational experiences ex- 
plains the difficulty of introspecting relational feelings. 

We are so full of interest in the colors which are 

134 Relational Elements 

different, the sounds which are identical, or the emotions 
which are alike, that feelings of difference, identity and 
likeness are, as James says, 1 quite eclipsed and swallowed 
up in the color, sound or emotion. On the other hand, if 
we lose consciousness of the feelings to which the rela- 
tional element belongs, this must vanish with them ; as there 
is no such thing as likeness which is not the likeness of 
something to something else. " Let any one," James says, 
" try to cut a thought across in the middle and get a look 
at its section, and he will see how difficult the introspective 
observation of the transitive tracts is. The rush of the 
thought is so headlong that it almost always brings us up 
at the conclusion before we can arrest it. Or, if our pur- 
pose is nimble enough and we do arrest it, it ceases forth- 
with to be itself. As a snowflake crystal caught in the 
warm hand is no longer a crystal but a drop, so, instead of 
catching the feeling of relation moving to its term, we find 
we have caught some substantive thing, usually the last 
word we were pronouncing, statically taken, and with its 
function, tendency and particular meaning in the sentence 
quite evaporated." 

Spencer's term, 'relational feeling,' has been adopted 
in this book, in place of the equivalent expression, 
'transitive feeling,' usually employed by James, because 
the term ' transitive ' is based merely on the supposedly 
short duration and the temporally midway position of 
the conscious state and its brain process. This over- 
looks the possibility that one may be simultaneously 
conscious of relational feeling and of its terms, as 
when, in an indivisible moment, one is conscious of 
the present recognized percept and its likeness to past 
experience. The essential feature is neither the dura- 
tion nor the position of the relational element, but the 
fact that the relational element is recognized as 'belong- 
ing ' to others, as occurring only in connection with them. 

1 Op. tit., Vol. I., p. 244. 

Relational Elements 135 

The relational element, it should be noted, occurs not 
only with emotional and affective elements, but also in 
connection with other relational experiences. We may be 
conscious, for example, of the likeness of the feeling of 
familiarity with that of sameness. 

There certainly are no specific forms of physical energy 
which correspond with the relational feelings of ' like,' 
'whole,' 'more' and the rest. For every known kind, 
degree and amount of physical force conditions a sensa- 
tional experience which may occur without relational feel- 
ing, or which, on the other hand, may be accompanied by 
any one of many relational feelings. The physical phe- 
nomenon cannot, therefore, be considered the condition of 
the relational feeling. 

As there are no external physical stimuli, so also there 
are no end-organs of relational elements. The physiologi- 
cal changes which condition them must, therefore, lie 
within the brain. These conditions are not definitely 
known, but two hypotheses may be advanced. The rela- 
tional elements may be conditioned not by nerve-cell 
activity, but by the excitation of so-called 'association- 
fibres' connecting different brain areas with each other. 
This is the theory suggested by James. It must be sup- 
plemented, if Flechsig's results are accepted, by the theory 
that the excitation, not only of the nerve-fibres, but of the 
nerve-cells, in the association-centres * is a condition of 
the ' relational ' experience. The brain condition of the 
relational element differs, on this view, from that of the 
sensational consciousness, in that the latter involves the ex- 
citation of ingoing fibres and of cells in the 'sensory' 
centres of the brain in which these fibres terminate ; 
whereas the former demands the excitation of connecting 
fibres and of cells in the association-centres, which are 
not directly connected with outside bodily organs. 

1 Cf. Appendix, Section III, p. 459. 

136 Relational Elements 

To recapitulate : we find that we have experiences which 
are not wholly reducible to sensational and affective ele- 
ments. We thus establish the existence, in our conscious- 
ness, of relational elements. These relational elements 
( i ) are not invariably present, and they seem to ' belong 
to ' other elements or ideas with which they occur. They 
are (2) physiologically conditioned by excitation of con- 
necting fibres and probably also of association-centre cells. 
They have (3) no specific physical condition. 1 

1 Relational elements of consciousness, though usually unacknowledged by 
psychologists, have been recognized by Spencer (" Principles of Psychology," 
2d edition, 1870, Vol. I., Part II., Chap. II.), by Stout (" Analytic Psychology," 
I., p. 66 and II., p. 42), and by James (" Principles," 1890), among English- 
speaking psychologists. 

The first of psychologists, who use the German language, to do justice to 
the relational elements is Chr. Ehrenfels (" Ueber Gestaltqualitaten," Viertel- 
jahrschr. fur wissensch. Philos., 1890, XIV., p. 249). Ehrenfels starts from a 
suggestion received from Mach's "Analyse der Empfindundungen " (1886). 
A. Meinong (Zeitschrift, 1891, II., p. 247, and 1899, XXI., p. 182 seq., and 
"Ueber Annahmen," 1902) has worked over the doctrine of relational elements, 
in great details, proposing in place of the term of Ehrenfels, form-quality, two 
others, "funded content (fundirter Inhalt)" and "object of a higher order 
(Gegenstand hoherer Ordnung)." A. Hofler (" Psychologic," p. 152 seq.} and 
others of the so-called Austrian school have adopted Meinong's teaching. 

H. Cornelius (" Psychologic als Erfahrungswissenschaft," p. 70, 164, et al., 
and Zeitschrift, 1899, XXL, p. 101 seq."), developing a teaching of G. E. Miiller, 
conceives of the " Gestaltqualitaten " as the recognized features of likeness 
between complex facts of consciousness. Ebbinghaus (" Grundziige," I., p. 
410 seq.} and Miinsterberg (" Grundziige," I., Kap. 8, 4, 290 seq.} have 
independently developed the relational element doctrine. Ebbinghaus calls 
them "intuitions (Anschauungen) "; Miinsterberg classes them among his 
"value-qualities (Wert qualitaten) ." 

All these German-speaking psychologists with the exception, I think, of 
Miinsterberg err by including with the relational elements, properly so 
called, the consciousness of spatial form and of melody. These last-named 
contents of consciousness are obviously complex and, in large part, sensational. 
Much of the criticism of the doctrine of the Gestaltqualitaten, for example, 
that of Schumann {Zeitschrift, 1898, XVIL, p. 128), is really directed against 
nothing other than this incorrect teaching about form and melody conscious- 

Of the various terms proposed, that of Ehrenfels is certainly too narrow, 
Meinong's expressions are too metaphorical, and that of Ebbinghaus is too 
Kantian in its implication. No one of them all seems to the writer of this 
book at once so simple and so adequate as Spencer's term " relational cl< 



THIS chapter discusses a difficult problem, and we find 
ourselves, as we approach it, in immediate perplexity, a 
prey not merely to conflicting theories, but to doubts and 
indecisions of our own. Our problem concerns the nature 
of attention and of the idea attended-to. Psychologists who 
consider consciousness as the experience of a self use the 
former term ; those who regard consciousness as a mere 
series of ideas should use the latter or one of its equiva- 
lents ; we, who admit the validity of both conceptions, 1 
shall shift our point of view, with the idiomatic turns of 
the English tongue, and shall speak now of attention and 
again of the idea as attended-to. The term ' attention ' is 
a psychological synonym of the expression 'interest.' To 
be attended-to means precisely to be interesting. The com- 
mon theory, that uninteresting things may be attended-to, 
is therefore, in the opinion of the writer, entirely errone- 
ous. Things which are naturally uninteresting, such as dull 
books or diffiqult problems, may, it is true, be attended-to, 
but they grow interesting in the process ; for being inter- 
ested and attending are one and the same experience. 
Naturally uninteresting topics do usually, it is true, lose 
their temporary, acquired interest, but this happens only in 
so far as they become unattended-to. 2 

In a strict and limited sense, the attended-to or interest- 
ing is an attributive experience, elemental or at least very 
simple. ' Clear ' and ' vivid ' are other synonyms of 

1 Cf. Chapter I., p. 6, and Chapter XII. 

2 Cf. Appendix, Section VII. 


138 Attention or Interest 

attended-to and interesting, in this narrow use of the terms. 
The last paragraph of this chapter will indicate a broader 
conception of interest, or attention. 

An account of matters of general agreement shall intro- 
duce our study. Psychologists teach that every sort of 
conscious experience may be interesting or attended-to. 
Pleasant and unpleasant things, beautiful and ugly objects, 
varied and monotonous scenes alike may be attended-to. 
The interesting experience always is, however, a nar- 
row or limited part of the total experience of a given 
moment. The darkness, the dull sounds and the faint 
odors of the room are present to my consciousness but 
uninteresting : only this one bit of experience, the flash of 
light, is vivid or attended-to. This narrowness of the 
fact attended-to is evidently a constant characteristic. 
Not the entire scene spread out before me and stimulat- 
ing my retina, but some one object, as the moving figure, 
or the brightly colored cloud, not the complete harmony of 
voices and instruments, but the liquid note of the harp or 
the soaring tenor voice are the ' attended-to ' or interest- 
ing parts of my total consciousness. Experimental observa- 
tion, 1 which has greatly concerned itself with this question, 
has found that one can attend to a limited number only of 
distinguishable impressions : to four or five visual impres- 
sions and to eight auditory impressions. In all these cases 
the different impressions are realized as making up one 
complex. From this limitation of the extent of an object 
of attention, it follows that attention to one subject always 
implies inattention to another. The ' absent-minded ' per- 
son, who is blind and deaf to the sights and sounds of his 
environment, is inattentive to them precisely because he is 
attentive to something else, for example, to some imag- 
ined scene or some ideal project. 

All psychologists are agreed, furthermore, in distin- 
guishing two sorts of attention, passive and active, as they 

1 For experiment, cf. Titchener, 38, Exp. 4, p. 113. Cf. also Titchener, 
" Outline," 42; James, op. cit. y Vol. I., pp. 405 seq. 

Attention or Interest 139 

are usually named. These precise terms must be aban- 
doned, for they have either a metaphysical meaning which 
plainly disqualifies them for psychology, or else they are 
applicable, not to psychical, but to purely physical, phe- 
nomena. The distinction which they indicate is, however, 
an actual one; it is that, namely, between (i) natural or 
primary, and (2) acquired or secondary attention. For 
example, brilliant colors, moving objects, sounds, even 
faint ones, in the stillness of the night and pleasant or 
unpleasant situations are naturally and primarily interest- 
ing or attended-to ; but, on the other hand, monotonous 
percepts or images and relational ideas, such as ideas of 
difference or of causal connection, are secondarily, not 
naturally, interesting or vivid. We may classify these 
types of interest or attention as follows : 

I. Natural or Primary Attention or Interest, in 
(a) The Unusual (including the Intense), 
(U) The Instinctively Interesting. 

II. Acquired or Secondary Attention. 

Everybody will admit that a relational experience, the 
consciousness, for example, of likeness or of generality is 
secondarily and seldom, if ever, naturally interesting. 
Yet, not all sensational experiences are primarily inter- 
esting. Unusual things, however, including intense sense- 
stimuli, are always interesting, standing out in sharp 
contrast to their commonplace background. As we say, 
we cannot help attending to bright colors, loud sounds and 
intense odors. 

Under the head of instinctively interesting experiences, 
we vaguely mass together all those whose vividness is un- 
questionably primary yet psychologically inexplicable. I 
know that the nest full of eggs is an ' utterly fascinating ' 
object to the broody hen, that scarlet is hatefully interest- 
ing to bulls and entirely indifferent to sheep, that I cannot 
keep my eyes from the waves that are breaking on the 

140 Attention or Interest 

shore, whereas my neighbors are tranquilly playing cards 
or making Battenberg lace. Biologically, I may assign 
a reason for each of these interests, but psychologically, 
from my own introspection or inference, they are inex- 
plicable. The hen attends to the eggs, the bull to the 
scarlet parasol, I to the beating waves because we must ; 
we are interested because we are interested! One is 
either veiling one's ignorance by a word, or else one is 
appealing to biology, when one names these interests 

The existence of acquired interests attests, it should be 
added, the capacity for intellectual development. For 
education is a widening as well as a deepening of one's 
interests ; it not only lays emphasis upon the natural and 
instinctive interests, but creates new interests as well, sup- 
plementing the primary attention to glowing colors, loud 
sounds and instinctively attractive objects by acquired 
interests in likeness, contrasts and causes. 

We are ready now to discuss the nature of attention, in 
its primary meaning of clearness or vividness. We have 
already defined it as an attributive experience, elemental 
or very simple. Whatever the stage of attention, natural 
or acquired, and whatever the object of attention, flash of 
light or Greek word or nebular hypothesis, the attended-to 
experience includes a certain element of clearness which 
simply does not belong to the unattended-to or uninterest- 
ing. The presence of such a feeling of clearness becomes 
evident, if we compare a moment of attention with the 
dazed and sleepy consciousness of the barely wakened 
moments. 1 The attentive or interested consciousness of 
lights, sounds and odors differs, on this view, from the 
sleepy consciousness in that it contains this distinct ele- 
ment, 'vividness' or 'clearness,' radically different from 
sensational and relational elements of consciousness. 

One way of throwing light on this conception of 

1 Cf. James, op. cit., Vol. I., p. 404, for mere suggestion of this contrast 
For experiment, cf. Titchener, Laboratory Manual, Exp. I, p. HO. 

Attention or Interest 141 

clearness is the negative method of considering different 
accounts of this attention-feeling. Some psychologists 
have suggested that attention is virtually another name for 
affection : the interesting, or attended-to, is that which is 
either pleasant or unpleasant ; inattention is mere indiffer- 
ence ; the apparently indifferent object which is attended- 
to is really, for the moment, faintly pleasant or unpleasant ; 
and this affective tone is its interestingness. 1 The chief 
objection to this theory is the introspective discovery that 
we do sometimes attend to experiences which are not 
affectively toned, in other^words, that psychic facts, neither 
pleasant nor unpleasant, are nevertheless vivid. The most 
striking illustrations of this fact are found within the circle 
of our habitual experiences. A well-known phrase, how- 
ever insignificant, will catch the attention in a context of 
far greater emotional value, and an aesthetically indifferent 
face, if familiar, may be attended-to. Most, if not all, 
primarily interesting experiences are pleasant or unpleas- 
ant, whereas many acquired interests are indifferent. The 
arithmetic lesson, the list of prepositions and the butcher's 
book, which were utterly uninteresting, may become the 
objects of attentive study and still remain indifferent. 

It is fair then to conclude that clearness, or attention in 
the narrow sense, is not identical with pleasantness or 
unpleasantness, that is to say, that it is no affective expe- 
rience. We have next to show that clearness is not 
sensational. It has sometimes been confounded with sense- 
intensity, but the two are utterly unlike. As Miinsterberg 
says, 2 " The vivid impression of a weak sound and the faint 
impression of a strong sound are in no way interchange- 
able. . . . The white impression when it loses vividness 
does not become gray, and finally black, nor the large size 
small, nor the hot lukewarm." But though a faint im- 

1 Cf. Titchener, " Primer," 33. Titchener, however, in other passages 
suggests a view of attention as clearness resulting in motor accompaniments, 
permanence, etc. which is somewhat like that of this book. Cf. "Outline," 
38; " Experimental Psychology, Qualitative, Student's Manual," 38, p. 109. 

2 " Psychology and Life," p. 86. 

142 Attention or Interest 

pression does not gain in intensity, it may gain in interest, 
that is it may be better attended-to. The truth is, there- 
fore, that both intense and dull experiences are attended-to ; 
and this shows that intensity is not identical with clearness, 
that is, with elemental attention. By a parallel argument 
it may be shown that clearness, in this sense of interest, 
and visual clearness of outline are not identical, for we may 
attend to very vaguely outlined and indistinct objects, for 
example, to shadowy figures on a dark night. 

Of course it is none the less true that objects of attention 
are very often intense and clear in outline. Indeed, the in- 
tensity and visual distinctness are, in a way, the results of the 
relational clearness or attention. For example, we change 
the accommodation of our eyes in order to obtain a dis- 
tincter outline of the object which interests us, and we 
turn our heads that the music to which we are attending 
may seem louder. Even a faint experience, therefore, has, 
if attended-to, the greatest intensity possible. These motor 
results or accompaniments are often known as marks of 

Still another result of the clearness of an experience is 
its relatively long duration. We make bodily movements 
to prolong it, if it is a sense-experience for example, we 
follow a moving light with our eyes ; and, whatever its 
nature, it has a tendency to persist in the memory. To 
say that interest or attention is relatively prolonged con- 
tradicts, we must admit, the constant assertion of psycholo- 
gists, that the duration of attention is limited. 1 Now it is 
true that a sensational impression retains its intensity for 
no more than five or six seconds. 2 The fixated object 
grows alternately bright and dull, and the sound to which 
we listen is now loud and again soft. But these phenom- 
ena, classed as fluctuations of attention, are really only 
fluctuations in sensational intensity, due to the periodic 
exhaustion of the functioning brain-cells; and sense-inten- 

1 Cf., for example, James, op. cit., Vol. I., p. 420; Titchener, "Outline," 
41. 2 Cf. Titchener, " Primer," 36. 

Attention or Interest 143 

sity differs utterly, as we have seen, from clearness, the 

We have thus distinguished, first, the attention-element, 
clearness, second, the narrowness of the experience to which 
this element attaches itself, and third, two results of the 
clearness : the relative intensity, and the relatively long 
duration of the clear or attended-to experience. There are 
two more important results of the clearness of an experi- 
ence. An idea which is clear, or attended-to, does not 
merely persist in consciousness immediately after it occurs, 
but it is likely to be recalled again and again. It is, fur- 
thermore, peculiarly suggestive both of sensational facts 
and of relational experience. As suggestive of relational 
experiences, one says that the interesting object is "thought 
about." This suggestiveness, of whatever type, distin- 
guishes the interesting from the uninteresting experience. 
It should be noticed that these results of the clearness of 
an experience, its aptness to be recalled and its suggestive- 
ness, differ from the results first mentioned, in that they 
cannot be fully realized till long after the moment of 

It may be worth while to verify this description of at- 
tention with its accompaniments and results, by the study 
of a typical instance of each sort of attention. Suppose, in 
the first place, that one attends to an electric light in a 
dark room. This is evidently a case of primitive or natural 
attention. It involves, first of all, the attention-feeling of 
clearness or distinctness. This feeling, furthermore, attaches 
only to a limited part of the total object of consciousness. 
The idea attended-to has in itself sense-intensity, but, more 
than this, if the light is stationary, the impression has the 
clearness of outline due to good fixation, and if it swings to 
and fro, the impression is relatively prolonged, for one fol- 
lows the light with one's eyes. Undoubtedly, this experi- 
ence is more likely to be recalled than the other parts of the 
room-idea, for example the consciousness of the darkness, 

144 Attention or Interest 

the faint sounds, and the odors. The idea as attended-to 
is, finally, suggestive both of sensational facts for exam- 
ple, of a locomotive headlight or of the moon and of 
relational experience, as when one thinks of the electric 
light as unlike a gas jet, or as caused by the contact of a car- 
bon filament with an electrically charged platinum wire. 

We may now proceed to analyze a vivid fact of the other 
type, that is, an instance of acquired or secondary attention. 
Let us suppose the case of a little schoolboy who attends 
to a page of his spelling book. His consciousness of the 
printed words has, in the first place, the attention-feeling of 
relational clearness ; and this feeling is evidently combined 
with a limited part only, the printed page, out of the rich 
total of sound and color and movement within the school- 
room. The word-images have not, of course, any sense- 
intensity, but they do possess the visual distinctness due 
to good fixation ; not until he grows inattentive does the 
page grow blurred and dim before his eyes. The sight of 
the page is, moreover, prolonged, not only because the boy 
follows the words from left to right with his eye-move- 
ments, and because he checks the movements of his head 
and eyes in other directions, but because he has after-images 
of the words, as he closes his eyes, and because the words 
persist in his memory. The later results of clearness are 
as easily discovered, in this instance of attention and its 
consequents. The words of this spelling lesson, so far as 
they have been attended-to, will, in the first place, be re- 
called when the ten thousand other impressions of the 
moment, the buzzing of the flies, the singsong recitations 
and the teacher's shell comb, have been eternally forgotten. 
The words of the spelling lesson are, furthermore, richly 
suggestive, both of the concrete objects which they de- 
scribe, and of other words with which they are compared 
and related. 

To complete the verification of our definition, let us 
finally consider the case in which the secondarily attended- 
to fact is an image, not a percept. Our schoolboy, grown 

Attention or Interest 145 

in years and in discretion, is attending, let us say, to an 
imagined triangle in demonstration of Euklid's fifth propo- 
sition. The experience, of course, includes the attention- 
feeling of clearness, and the idea, of which this is a part, is 
a limited portion of the boy's total consciousness, a mere 
speck upon a variegated background of colored, sounding, 
fragrant objects to which he has learned to be inattentive. 
The outline of the imagined triangle may be visually indis- 
tinct, but if the boy has a strong visual imagination, or if 
he closes his eyes and stops his ears to shut out conflicting 
sensations, the outline is likely to be distinct. (Of course 
the adjustment of eye-muscles, so important in securing 
visual distinctness, is lacking, yet there are certain motor 
accompaniments of secondary attention, both inhibitory 
movements, such as closing the eyes and stopping the 
ears, and an upward movement of the scalp, first described 
by Fechner, but verifiable by almost anybody. 1 ) The 
imaged triangle is evidently, in the second place, prolonged, 
not through any motions of eye or head or hand, but 
through the persistence of the image. The attentive 
schoolboy keeps on thinking of his triangle ; the image 
of it is no mere fleeting shape in a kaleidoscopic shifting 
of scenes, but an object of consciousness which is relatively 
stable and fixed. This continuance of the image is, in 
fact, the most obvious characteristic of secondary attention. 
To hold the thought to a given subject is the great problem 
of acquired attention, and the wandering mind and roving 
thought are justly become synonyms of inattention. Evi- 
dently, therefore, the imaged triangle is a clear, narrow, 
and prolonged fact of consciousness. The fact that it is 
also readily recalled and suggestive, both of mere images 
and of thoughts, is too obvious for further comment. 

We have, up to this point, regarded attention as a simple 
attributive experience, that of clearness, with certain signifi- 

1 Cf. James, op. '/., Vol. I., pp. 435 $eq. 

146 Attention or Interest 

cant results, first, relative intensity and duration, and second, 
1 revivability ' and suggestiveness. It is, however, impor- 
tant to add that the term 'attention' is often used, in a very 
broad way, to cover not only the attention-feeling, clearness, 
but the characteristic results and accompaniments of the 
feeling. This widening of the term is due, of course, to 
the great significance in practical life of the results, espe- 
cially the remote results, of ' attention ' in its narrow sense. 
Practical interests almost always dominate discussions 
of attention, and from the practical point of view attention 
certainly is significant, not for what it is in itself, but because 
it is followed by memory and thought ; in other words, it is 
distinguished for its effect on the later life. 





THE analysis of consciousness into its barest elements is 
a highly artificial process, undertaken merely for the scien- 
tific purpose of exhaustively enumerating the fundamental 
features of the psychic experience. There could be, how- 
ever, no more hopeless error than the supposition that this 
enumeration completes the account of the conscious life. 
On the contrary, consciousness, as we ordinarily know it, is 
significant, not for its simplicity, but for its complexity, its 
richness, its confusion ; and it is only, as we have seen, by 
an effort that we ' tease out ' of it, with the psychological 
scalpel of attentive introspection, the minute fibres of which 
it is interwoven. We have now, however, concluded this 
' post mortem ' study, as James calls it, of those ' artificial 
abstractions,' the structural elements of consciousness, and 
we turn, therefore, to the consideration of our " entire con- 
scious states as they are concretely given to us." 

We shall study these concrete experiences from two 
points of view. In the first place, we shall regard each 
one of them without reference to any self, as an idea, a 
fact of consciousness, occurring in a series of ideas. We 
shall next, however, consider each experience as relation 
of a self to other selves, and shall distinguish it from dif- 
ferent forms of consciousness by the nature of this relation. 

Every conscious experience, in the first place, may be 
considered without explicit reference to any self, as an 


1 50 Ideas 

idea, a content-of-consciousness, a percept, emotion or 
volition, belonging to a shifting series of ideas. When we 
study psychology solely from this point of view, we isolate 
the experiences from the self who has them, somewhat as 
a botanist may pick a leaf and examine it under his micro- 
scope, without, at the moment, considering the branch or 
tree from which he has picked it. I study a percept, for 
instance, or a memory, without laying any stress on the 
fact that it is my experience. I analyze it with as imper- 
sonal an attitude as that with which the chemist heats his 
potassium chlorate that it may give off oxygen. 

Scientific acquaintance with an idea, thus defined, in- 
cludes two factors : first, the complete analysis into the 
structural elements, sensational, attributive and relational, 
of which it is composed ; second, the explanation of the 
fact by connecting it with some preceding fact, psychical 
or physiological. My image, for instance, of Rossetti's 
great picture, " Dante's Dream," is analyzed into struc- 
tural elements of color, brightness and form ; and is ex- 
plained in two ways : by connecting it with my immediately 
preceding percept of a red-bound copy of Dante's " Vita 
Nuova," and also by referring it to the excitation of nerve- 
cells and connecting fibres in the visual brain-centres. 

At this point it will be well to call attention to the use, 
in this book, of certain common expressions. The word 
' idea ' is applied to any complex experience regarded as 
one term in a succession. The word ' feeling ' is used, in 
a very general way, of any conscious experience ; it may, 
therefore, be applied both to the complex idea and to the 
simple element of consciousness. 1 


The conception of consciousness as a mere series of 
ideas connected with each other is a perfectly consistent 
doctrine of the widest application. There is no founda- 

1 Cf. James, op. cit., Vol. I., pp. 185-186. 

Selves 151 

tion for the opinion, sometimes expressed, that only per- 
cepts and images may be regarded from this point of view. 
On the contrary, every conscious experience, emotion, and 
volition, as well as percept and image, may be looked at as 
an 'idea/ that is, a member of an idea-series, without any 
reference at all to any self. Yet such a treatment of con- 
scious experience loses sight of the truth that every idea 
is, after all, the experience of a self who is conscious. 
Even when, as students of the mere idea, we have neglected 
the self and taken no notice of it, yet all the time we have 
been dimly conscious of it as underlying all our feelings. 
In other words, we have realized that a perception, an 
imagination or an emotion does not exist independently, 
but that it is my perception, your imagination or his emo- 
tion. As James says : a " Every ' state ' or ' thought ' is 
part of a personal consciousness. ... In this lecture- 
room, . . . there are a multitude of thoughts, yours and 
mine. . . . They are as little each-for-itself and recipro- 
cally independent as they are all-belonging-together. . . . 
My thought belongs with my other thoughts, and your 
thought with your other thoughts. The only states of 
consciousness that we naturally deal with are found in 
personal consciousnesses, . . , selves, concrete particular 
I's and you's." This means that besides realizing my 
conscious experiences, or feelings, I am also conscious 
of my conscious self, as in a sense including, but not as 
identical with, the perceptions, the emotions or the thoughts 
of any given moment. 

What, now, is this intimate consciousness of self which 
underlies and includes, though it does not consist in, the 
moment-by-moment ideas and experiences ? What, in 
other words, do I mean by the ' I ' which is conscious or 
has experiences ? The effort to answer this question dis- 
closes the fact that, with the exception of the analysis into 
structural elements, the only description of self-conscious- 

1 " Briefer Psychology," p. 153. 

152 Selves as Related 

ness is, first, as consciousness of myself contrasted with 
other selves, and second, as consciousness of my varying 
relations or attitudes to these other selves. 

We have thus made the important discovery of the es- 
sentially social nature of the self. The self underlying the 
conscious experiences, which we have been studying, is not 
a single, lonely self, but a self related to a group of selves. 
Every self is, in other words, a social self, that is, a self 
in inextricable relation with many other selves, 

" a chain of linked thought, 
Of love and might to be divided not." 

I, who read this paragraph, for instance, simply cannot 
be conscious of my own self except as related in the most 
varying ways to a vast number of other people. Let one 
try to drop out of the consciousness of oneself the realiza- 
tion, however vague, of some or all of these relations, the 
consciousness that one is son, brother, member of a fra- 
ternity, student at a university, citizen of the United 
States : such an imagined elimination of the conscious- 
ness of his social relationships leaves a man, in truth, with 
nothing which he can recognize as himself. 

Our study of psychology has, in fact, proceeded so far 
as a sort of play of Hamlet with Hamlet left out. We 
are now at last calling this neglected hero, the self, before 
the footlights. But, behold, our leading character will not 
appear alone, but comes before the curtain leading his 
company after him. For our Hamlet is no solitary figure ; 
he is the lover of Ophelia, the friend of Laertes, the son of 
the murdered king. Take away these related persons 
and Hamlet also has disappeared with them ; some other 
man, but no longer precisely this Hamlet, is left. In the 
same way, the self of the psychologist is always a related 

The discovery of the social nature of the self at once 
discloses to us two fundamental phases of self-conscious- 

Relations of Selves 153 

ness, an egoistic, imperious phase which lays emphasis 
upon the ' central, everyday self ' or ' myself,' and an 
altruistic, adoptive phase, an emphasis upon the other 
self, the you, not the me. It is true, as we have seen, 
that the one implies the other, just as the north-point- 
ing pole of a magnet is connected with the south-pointing 
pole; but it is also true that one's conscious experience 
may lay special stress upon the narrower, central self, or 
may be specially concerned with the other, the related 

These terms, ' egoistic ' and ' altruistic,' are, of course, to 
be interpreted in a strictly psychological, not in an ethical, 
sense. We are apt to confuse ' egoistic ' with ' selfish ' and 
' altruistic ' with * unselfish,' and so to regard the one as 
wrong, the other as right. As psychologists, however, we 
have no business at all to make these distinctions, and in 
saying that consciousness is fundamentally egoistic or 
altruistic, we mean only that we emphasize either ourselves 
or the not-ourselves, of our experience. When I hand the 
morning paper, unopened, to my father, I am subordinating 
myself to him ; when I send out the chops because they 
are underdone, I am laying stress on my own desires ; 
even if I only listen idly to the violin practice in the music 
room, I realize it as a fact of common experience ; and if 
I resent it, for the unbearable squeak of the bow on the 
strings, I am setting myself against it. Always, if I am 
conscious at all, I am asserting with special emphasis 
either myself and my concerns, or the relatively-other-than- 

There are other important distinctions, we shall find, 
between the typical forms of consciousness, regarded as 
the experience of related selves. We shall consider only 
two, postponing to the chapters which follow a detailed 
account of them. Experiences may be contrasted as they 
refer to unparticularized other selves, that is, to any or all 
selves, or as they refer to definite and particular selves. 
In perceiving, for instance, I am vaguely conscious that 

154 Ideas as Psychic Events 

other people might sec what I am seeing, but in hating I 
do not hate anybody in general, but some very special and 
definite person or persons. Conscious experiences are 
often also characterized as relatively 'passive* or 'active/ 
Perception and will are examples of the two extremes of 
this distinction, which will later be more carefully considered. 
It might not be unreasonable to speak of the egoistic 
and altruistic, the particularizing and generalizing, and the 
passive and active phases of consciousness, as its elements. 
The term * element ' is, however, almost always used of 
what we have called the structural elements, sensational, 
attributive, and relational. It is wisest, therefore, not to 
extend the application of the term. 


If now we compare these ways of looking at a psychic 
fact, we find two main contrasts. The study of conscious- 
ness as experience of a related self takes account of cer- 
tain facts with which the study of ideas is not concerned ; 
these facts are, first, the self which ' has ' ideas, or is con- 
scious, and second, the relations of this self to other selves 
and to ideas. On the other hand, the study of ideas, dis- 
associated from conscious selves, is distinguished by a 
method which is not applicable to the other forms of psy- 
chology. For ideas are, by hypothesis, psychic events, 
which are distinct yet closely linked together. Now, to 
look at experience as a mere series of psychic events en- 
ables us to study it causally, that is, to consider an event 
of one moment as necessarily connected with that of the 
preceding and with that of the following moment. A 
psychology which considers only psychic events or con- 
sciousnesses is, therefore, a causal science ; whereas psy- 
chology, in so far as it studies selves in their relations, does 
not treat its facts as causally related to each other, because, 
strictly speaking, only phenomena in time are causally con- 
nected, and selves are, to say the least, not primarily re- 

Selves as Primarily Un temp oral 155 

garded as realities in time. Anybody may verify this by 
his introspection. One thinks of one's body as beginning 
and ending at distinct moments ; one thinks of one's ideas 
and feelings as occurring yesterday or to-day at quarter 
of twelve or at half -past three; but one does not primarily 
regard oneself as ' in time,' and one, therefore, does not think 
of selves in causal relations to each other. They are related, 
of course, by virtue of the imperiousness, the demands, 
the acknowledgments, and the adoptions which make up, 
as we have seen, the very nature of a self ; but these rela- 
tions are not the causal ones which connect ideas. 1 

But though these conceptions of consciousness are so 
distinct, they have yet a common ground. Whether one 
regard a given thought or emotion as idea, without refer- 
ence to a self, or as a conscious relation of one self to 
another, in either case one looks upon it as a complex con- 
sciousness analyzable into structural elements, sensational, 
attributive or relational. This has already been shown 
in the case of the mere idea, which is indeed definable 
only by analysis into its elements. But the structural 
element is as truly a factor of the personal consciousness : 
emotion is a happy or an unhappy relation between selves ; 
perception is a consciousness of sensational experiences 
in common with other selves. In a word, every structural 
element may be regarded either as one part of an idea, or 
as one way in which a self is conscious. 

Each of the following chapters, therefore, which discusses 
a distinct and concrete conscious experience, will first con- 
sider it briefly as idea, and will next describe it as personal 
attitude, but will ordinarily devote most space to the dis- 
cussion of the experience from the common point of view, 
as complex of structural elements. 

It is only fair to observe, finally, that some writers deny 
the right of the science of selves to the name ' psychology.' 

1 Cf. Munsterberg, " Psychology and Life," pp. 210 seq. ; Grundziige, S. 117. 

156 The Psychological Study of Selves 

Such a study of the nature of selves is philosophy, they 
say, or else it is sociology, but it has no part nor lot in 
psychological science. We shall here reply briefly to the 
first of these objections, leaving to a later chapter 1 the dis- 
tinction of the psychology of selves from sociology and 
from ethics. A reference to our introductory chapter 
will remind us that we defined philosophy as the study 
of the self-dependent, inclusive whole of reality, or of 
limited facts of reality in their relation to this whole. On 
the other hand, we defined science as a study of facts 
or phenomena, that is, of limited bits of reality, taken for 
granted without investigation of their relation to the whole 
of reality. Now it is certain that consciousnesses, or ideas, 
regarded without reference to a conscious self, may form 
the material of a scientific psychology; and some psy- 
chologists have limited the science to the study of these 
momentary contents of consciousness, not regarded as the 
experiences of a self. But it is equally evident, in the 
opinion of the writer, that selves also may be treated as 
facts or phenomena, because they are certainly taken for 
granted by everyday people, without inquiry about their 
relation to ' reality.' The most ordinary division of our 
experience is indeed into the two classes ' selves ' and 
' things ' ; and everybody, whether or not he speculates on 
the ultimate nature of selves, assumes their existence and 
compares them with each other. Selves, in other words, 
though they may be objects of philosophical study, are 
not merely the concern of the philosopher, but form also 
an important class of phenomena. As such, they may 
both be observed from an uncritical, everyday standpoint, 
and systematically compared and classified from the point 
of view of the scientist. 

1 Cf. Chapter XXIII., pages 333 and 346. 


A GENERAL problem still remains for discussion before 
we turn to our detailed study of the concrete conscious 
experiences. This problem concerns the nature of psychic 
synthesis or connection. There are two entirely different 
ways of regarding synthesis in psychology. It may be 
subjectively or introspectively considered as a peculiar 
psychic fact, an immediately observed content of conscious- 
ness. As such, it is, as we have seen, a relational and 
probably elemental experience what we have called the 
' feeling of connection ' and what James calls the ' feeling 
of and' This consciousness of connection is prominent, as 
will later appear, in judgments and in general notions, 
because the feeling of a connection is precisely what gives 
these experiences their essential character; in such complex 
contents as simple percepts, emotions and images, on the 
other hand, the feeling of connection is ' swamped ' in sen- 
sational and affective elements. 

But there is another, an 'objective ' sense as it were, in 
which we may treat of synthesis in psychology. Every 
science, and therefore psychology, assumes facts of two 
sorts : substantive facts or facts in the ordinary sense 
and connections. Chemistry, for example, deals with ele- 
ments and their combination, and physics treats of forces 
and their composition. This composition, connection or 
synthesis need not be metaphysically explained, but may 
be taken for granted by chemistry, by physics and by 
psychology also. In this sense, the connection is not a 
peculiarly psychic phenomenon, but is a general fact, 
common to every science. Connection, moreover, thus 

158 Fusion 

regarded, is not immediately realized, but is reflectively 
' known about ' the connected facts of consciousness. The 
types of combination, thus objectively regarded, of ele- 
ments and complexes of consciousness, form the topic of 
the present chapter. 

The first of these is fusion, the synthesis of peripherally 
excited, conscious elements. The combination, for example, 
of the C and G, the loudness and the volume of a given 
chord, is a case of fusion ; and so is the combination of the 
feelings of redness, yellowness, colorless light, brightness, 
bigness, odor, coolness, pressure from joint and skin 
stimulation and pleasure, from an orange which one is 
rolling about in one's hand. The distinguishing charac- 
teristic of the fusion is physiological : each one of the 
combined or fused elements must be directly excited by 
the stimulation of an end-organ, and not merely indirectly 
excited through the stimulation, by connecting fibres, of the 
corresponding brain-centres. Evidently, therefore, fusion 
is the exact psychic counterpart of the connection between 
the physical stimulations to the end-organs. Nevertheless, 
great care must be exercised not to confuse the psychical 
with the physical combination. For, though the two may 
correspond exactly, they may also be distinct. For exam- 
ple, a combination of ether vibrations of all wave-lengths is 
the condition, not of a complex, but of a simple psychic 
phenomenon, the sensational element of colorless light. 

Fusions differ from each other only in the degree of 
closeness with which the diverse elements are connected, 
and this is tested by the difficulty of the analysis in differ- 
ent cases. The closest fusions which we know are those 
of the different elements invariably connected in a sensa- 
tion, the quality, intensity and extensity. Almost, if not 
quite, as close as this fusion is that of a color with the col- 
orless light : this is the closest combination which we know 
of different qualities. Other examples are the fusion of 
taste and smell in many so-called tastes, of pressure and a 
feeling of temperature in what is named touch, and of the 

Fusion 159 

consciousness of extensity and pressure in the experience 
of smoothness or of roughness. 

The study of clangs l affords an illuminating instance of 
the fact that ability to analyze a fusion of elements may 
depend on training as well as on individual capacity. By 
a clang, we mean a combination of tones produced by at- 
mosphere vibrations of two different rates. All musical 
instruments, for example, produce clangs, and not simple 
tones, because all vibrating bodies, such as masses of air, 
strings and metal rods, vibrate not merely as wholes but 
also in sections. Now this complexity of vibration invari- 
ably conditions, even in the untrained observer, the con- 
sciousness of what is called the characteristic timbre of 
the tone the element which we have named its volume 
or bigness. The trained observer can furthermore dis- 
tinguish, even within the simplest clang, different tones, 
the fundamental and the overtone. The easiest way of 
proving this is to strike a piano key, middle C, for instance, 
at the same time very gently pressing the key which 
corresponds with one of its overtones say, the octave, C, 
or the major fifth, G. In this way, the damper will be 
removed from the wire of this higher key, yet the wire will 
not be directly struck. If now the key of the fundamental, 
C, be released, this tone, C, will no longer be heard but the 
overtone, G, will be heard by itself ; and this shows that 
atmospheric vibrations corresponding to it must have set 
its wire vibrating, when the key of the fundamental was 
struck. Experiments with strings, which vibrate in sec- 
tions, lead to the same result. In fact, by practice, almost 
any one can train himself to analyze the fusion of tones 
in a simple clang as well as in a chord. 

Association, the second form of synthesis, demands more 
detailed consideration. It is the connection of elements or 
complexes of consciousness, occurring simultaneously or 

1 For experiment, cf. Sanford, 87 a and 88; Titchener, 45. 

160 Fusion and Association 

successively, of which at least one (in successive associa- 
tion, the second) must be centrally excited. Here are 
plainly three distinctions between fusion and association : 
the connected factors may be complexes as well as ele- 
ments ; they may be successive as well as simultaneous ; 
and at least one (the second if there is a temporal differ- 
ence) must occur without peripheral stimulation. This 
last distinction is evidently the essential one. 

The following table summarizes all these forms : 


I. Fusion (of peripherally excited elements). 
II. Association (of terms, one or both of which are centrally excited). 

a. Simultaneous. 

1. Assimilation (of elements). 

2. Complex simultaneous association. 

b. Successive. 

The simplest form of simultaneous association, assimila- 
tion or the connection between elements, closely resembles 
fusion. Every image and almost every percept affords an 
example of it. As I look at a rose or a bronze or a fur 
rug, I get, besides color and form, in each case, a distinct 
impression of texture. This, of course, is without stimula- 
tion of end-organs of pressure, and is thus a centrally excited 
and simultaneously associated or ' assimilated ' sensation. 
The more complex form of simultaneous association is 
usually due to the persistence of a successive association ; 
and to the study of this form of combination we must there- 
fore turn. 

There is no more significant attribute of our mental life, 
regarded as a series of ideas, than the swift succession of 
percepts, images and emotions of which it is made up. 
Homer's phrase, 'swift as thought,' is no mere figure of 
speech, and we may well say of our ideas, what Shakespeare 
says of our minutes : 

1 Cf. Bibliography. 

Association 161 

" Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore 
So do our minutes hasten to their end ; 
Each changing place with that which goes before, 
In sequent toil all forwards do contend." 

But between these swiftly succeeding facts of conscious- 
ness we nevertheless observe, as we look back upon them, 
links and bonds of connection. I wake up from a revery 
to find myself leagues distant from my remembered start- 
ing-point, yet I am able to retrace my way, step by step, 
and I may find each idea ' associated ' with the preceding. 
Not every observed succession, to be sure, is an association. 
I look out, for example, from the window of an English 
railway carriage, and one object of consciousness follows 
in quick succession upon another : railway station, hidden 
under its thatch of advertisements, green meadows divided 
by holly hedges, flocks of plump sheep, stone towers rising 
from a mass of trees. But I do not think of these as asso- 
ciated ideas, for they all occur through peripheral stim- 
ulation of the retinal processes. Suppose, however, that 
the sight of the stone towers is followed by the following 
series of images : Rugby Chapel (an image of words on a 
page) "The chapel walls in whose bound, Thou, my 
father ! art laid " (an image of the words as spoken) 
Matthew Arnold (an image of him as he reads the poem). 
Here we have, between each of these images and that which 
precedes it, a case of association, since no one of them is 
peripherally excited by an object which is present. 

This example shows us also another way, besides the 
physiological one, in which we account for cases of associa- 
tion. We refer them to the connection, in actual past 
experience, of certain contents of consciousness with which 
we assume that the present contents are identical. The 
sight of Rugby Chapel, for example, is associated with the 
image of Matthew Arnold because I once heard him read 
the poem, " Rugby Chapel," that is, I once had simultane- 
ously the visual percept of his figure and a visual image of 
the building. Similarly, the sight of a dog associates the 

1 62 Classes of Association 

image of his owner because I have seen the two together ; 
and the sound of the word ' stop ' associates the image of 
its frequent companion-word ' thief.' In all these cases, 
I know, of course, upon reflection, that my immediate facts 
of consciousness, the present percept of chapel or of dog or 
of the word ' stop,' and the present image of Arnold or of 
master or of the word ' thief,, are not actually identical with 
those past experiences, fro:^ which, on the contrary, they 
are separated by great stretches of time ; but unquestion- 
ably I assume this identity of present with past facts of 
consciousness, and base upon it my explanation of the 

The most important and obvious classes of association 
may best be described by the terms 'total' and 'partial.' 1 
' Total association ' is that between complex facts of con- 
sciousness which are distinct and complete in themselves, 
ideas of things or of events. It is an external and prosaic 
sort of association, evidently accounted for by the reference 
to past related objects of experience. Most of our illustra- 
tions have been of this type ; the association, one after 
another, of the notes of a melody, the words of a poem or 
the implements of a trade are other examples of this com- 
mon form of association which may be readily symbolized 
by the following diagram : 

In this diagram, the small 
( taSd P 4 r ilh > ktter (y) stands for 'centrally 

jr n y n excited' and the capitals stand 

for 'either peripherally or 

jf ^ centrally excited ' ; the arrow 

designates the fact aji.d the di- 
Pr Td? g ) rcept (P Tm n r a f rection of the association, and 

the line connecting X n and 

Y n indicates that the two experiences occurred either sim- 
ultaneously or successively ; the dividing line and the index 
both suggest that X n and Y n are past experiences. 

1 These terms were suggested by James. The expression ' total ' must not, 
of course, be interpreted as if it required that the entire fact of consciousness 

Classes of Association 163 

Partial association is the association of elements of con- 
sciousness or of groups of elements. Its most extreme 
case, which James aptly calls * focalized association,' is the 
observed connection between one single element and 
another elemental or complex fact of consciousness. It 
is more varied in form and less obviously explained by 
reference to past related fa .of consciousness, and must 
therefore be considered in n ore detail. 

First of all, let us assure ourselves that the partial asso- 
ciation is indeed accounted for by the assumed identity 
of its terms with past experiences, which were either simul- 
taneous or successive. We may select, as an extreme in- 
stance, the association implied in these verses of Shelley: 

"And the hyacinth, purple and white and blue, 
Which flung from its bells a sweet peal anew 
Of music, so delicate, soft and intense, 
It was felt like an odor within the sense." 

Now, it is in the highest degree improbable that Shelley 
had so often or so vividly experienced together the fra- 
grance of hyacinths and the sound of bells that the one 
should suggest the other. At first sight, therefore, this 
seems to be a case of association, which cannot be ac- 
counted for by an assumed identity of the connected terms 
with past psychic phenomena occurring together. But 
on closer scrutiny we discover that the actual connection, 
for Shelley, between sound and fragrance, was the bell- 
shape of the flower. None of the other elements of the 
hyacinths, their color, their height, their texture, have any 
conr""* 1 '^ 1 ! with the sweet peal of music. But this con- 
necting link, the form of the flowers, is not associated 
with the image of sounding bells as a whole, for it is 
itself one element of this image ; in fact the only associa- 
tion involved is that between (i) the element 'bell-shape, ' 

of a given moment should be associated with a following one. On the other 
hand, it covers cases in which the first term of the association is very limited 
in extent, in which, for example, the first term is a single word. 

164 Classes of Association 

common to both the percept of the fragrant hyacinth and 
the image of the pealing bell, and (2) the remaining fea- 
tures of the bell as imaged, the auditory image of pitch, 
intensity and volume of tone, and the visual image of the 
color and form of the bell. This will be made clearer 
through the following diagram : 

(Past image of bell) 

x n 

Present percept Present image 

of hyacinth of bell 


W(a + b + c) X >- y( 

(Other qualities (Bell-shape) (Other qualities 
of hyacinth) of bell) 

Here the Roman numerals, I. and II., represent the total, 
concrete facts of consciousness, the hyacinth-percept and 
the bell-image; X is the element common to both (the 
shape); y represents the group of imagined elements, 
pitch, intensity and the like (m, n and o\ associated by X 
and forming with it the image of the pealing bell ; whereas 
W groups together those elements, the color, height and 
so on (a, b and c) of the hyacinth percept, which have no 
part in the association. Comparing this, therefore, with 
the concrete associations, we find that it has the following 
distinguishing characteristics: first and foremost, (i) the 
starting-point of the association is a very narrow one, 
either a single element or as we shall see a group of 
elements, but never a concrete total. This first term (X) 
of the association is furthermore (2) a part both of the 
first and of the second of the successive, concrete ideas 
(the hyacinth percept, I., and the image of the bell, II.); 
and (3) the association, therefore, is entirely within the 
second of these ideas, the image of the bell. It follows 

Classes of Association 165 

(4) that only this second one (II) of the concrete, conscious 
totals need be regarded as identical with any former 
experience ; in the present case, for example, Shelley need 
never before have seen a hyacinth, but he must already 
have seen and heard a pealing bell, in order to have the 
association. Finally, (5) it is evident that, in cases of suc- 
cessive association, the first of the associated elements or 
groups of elements (X) necessarily persists in conscious- 
ness, whereas the elements combined with it in the earlier 
complex (I.) fade gradually away; and that the persisting 
element is then surrounded by the added elements (m, n, 0} 
of the second concrete (II.). This persistence of the earlier 
fact of consciousness, though occurring in concrete associa- 
tion, is especially characteristic of the ' partial ' type. 

The connecting term of a partial association (the X) 
may include more than a single element. We have then 
an instance of what may be named ' multiple associa- 
tion.' When Shakespeare, for example, sings of love: 

" It is the star of every wandering bark," 

the star reminds him of love, not merely by the steadfast- 
ness of the 'ever fixed mark' but by the unapproach- 
ableness of that "whose worth's unknown although his 
height be taken." Or, to take a more prosaic illustration, 
if a football game on college grounds calls up an image 
of a Roman arena, the association is not between football 
game and Roman contest as total experiences, for I surely 
have not been conscious of them at one time or in imme- 
diate succession on each other. But neither does this 
association start from any single feature of the perceived 
game. Rather, a highly complex combination of elements 
(falling short, however, of a concrete total) the amphi- 
theatrical form of the grounds, the multitude of spec- 
tators, the straining forms of the young athletes is 
common both to the perceived and to the imagined contest ; 
and these images, common to both psychic facts, are asso- 
ciated with the other images, cerebrally excited, of Roman 

1 66 Classes of Association 

figures and costumes, which complete the consciousness 
of the gladiatorial contest. This is represented by the fol- 
lowing diagram, which differs from the last, in that the X 
is a complex of the factors (V, d and e) already enumer- 
ated, which are common to percept and to image. 


X n Y" 


It has thus been shown that the partial, like the total, 
association is accounted for by the assumed identity of 
associated facts of consciousness with earlier facts; but 
that these recurring facts, instead of being concrete wholes, 
are either elements or groups of elements, which have 
been combined in former percepts or images of pealing 
bells and of Roman combat, for example. An association 
should always, therefore, be analytically studied. The im- 
portant point is the determination of its first term, and the 
common error is the supposition that a complex content 
of consciousness is invariably to be taken as a whole in 
tracing the associative connection. On the other hand, as 
we have seen, all the subtler associations of our conscious 
experience are instances of association between more or 
less elemental parts of total conscious facts. Undoubtedly 
the greater number of associations in anybody's experience 
are of the total sort associations between objects and their 
uses, between people and their names, and between the terms 
of verbal and motor series. But the associations which dis- 
tinguish the imaginative from the prosaic type of mind, 
which are the essence of all metaphor and the very heart of 
humor, belong, all of them, to the ' partial ' type of associa- 
tion. No opposition is too fixed, no separation of time or 
place too wide, to be bridged by this sort of association. 

Secondary Laws of Association 167 

We have, therefore, the following types of association : 

(Successive or Simultaneous) 

I. Total or Concrete Association, of complete ideas (with or with- 
out persistence of the first term). 
II. Partial Association, of persisting elements of consciousness : 

a. Multiple Association (starting from a large group of elements). 

b. Focalized Association (starting from a single element or from 

a small group of elements). 

We have so far left untouched the practical questions : 
is it possible, in any sense, to determine the actual associa- 
tions of one's conscious life ; is it possible to predict which 
one of the percepts or images of a given moment will form 
the starting-point of a train of associated images ; and 
given the starting-point is it possible to determine what 
one of the numberless images, which might conceivably 
follow, will actually be associated ? These questions, it 
will be observed, concern what may be named the associa- 
tive suggestiveness and suggestibility of facts of conscious- 
ness. The most general answer to be made to them is 
this : psychic facts are both suggestive and likely to be 
suggested in proportion as they are interesting or attended- 
to; and they are attended-to, in the main, because they 
are either (i) frequent or (2) recent in occurrence, or 
because they are (3) associatively vivid, that is, instinctively 
attended-to or else rich in emotional elements. 1 

These distinctions, forming what are sometimes called 
the ' secondary laws ' of association, may be readily illus- 
trated from everyday experience. If the suggestive 
part of my percept of my desk is a battered old Liddell 
and Scott lexicon, this is because I consult the book so 
frequently ; if, on the contrary, my train of images fol- 
lows on the percept of a commonplace yellow pamphlet, 
this is perhaps because the pamphlet arrived by the last 

1 For experiments, cf. Titchener, 52. Cf. M. W. Calkins, "Association." 

1 68 Secondary Laws of Association 

mail ; if, finally, a polished bit of brass or a little Venetian 
water color is the suggestive part of the desk, it is associa- 
tive because it is a vivid, an instinctively noticed, percept. 
The forms of associative suggestibility may be illustrated 
in a parallel way. The lexicon may suggest the book- 
table on which it commonly lies ; or it may remind me of 
its precipitous fall, only yesterday, from desk to floor ; or 
again it may suggest a verse of Homer or of Sophokles, 
an aesthetically vivid experience. It is fair to conclude 
that the explanation of every definite instance of associa- 
tion is through the application of one of these three prin- 
ciples, of frequency, recency, and widest and vaguest of 
the classes vividness. Experiment has shown the un- 
expected importance of frequency among these, especially 
as a corrective influence. Granted a sufficient number of 
repetitions, it seems possible to supplement, if not actually 
to supplant, associations which have been formed through 
impressive or through recent experiences. This, of course, 
is a fact of utmost pedagogical value, a justification of the 
'line upon line and precept upon precept ' method of replac- 
ing harmful or troublesome associations by helpful ones. 

We have now to consider the physiological condition of 
association. In a general way, it may be described as the 
excitation of a given brain-area through nervous impulses 
conveyed, by intra-cortical fibres, from another brain-area. 
The larger these brain-areas, the more nearly ' total ' is the 
association; and the more continuous the cerebral excita- 
tion, the more persistent is the consciousness. It is also 
natural that connecting fibres which have been frequently 
or recently or strongly excited should offer little resistance 
to the excitation ; and in this probability we have the sug- 
gestion of a physiological basis for the secondary laws of 
associative frequency, recency and vividness. 


THE conscious experience of any given moment is, as we 
have seen, a complex of elemental feelings and may be 
regarded from one of two standpoints, either as experience 
of a self, or as one idea in a series of associated ideas. In 
this chapter, we shall first consider the percept, the psychic 
event or idea regarded without reference to any self ; we 
shall next treat perceiving as a form of consciousness, real- 
ized as shared with other selves ; and, finally, we shall dis- 
cuss both percept and perceiving, mere idea and experience 
of a self, as complex forms of consciousness to be analyzed, 
classified and physiologically accounted for. 

From the first of these points of view, perception means 
merely the occurrence of percepts. A percept is a com- 
plex idea or fact of consciousness, analyzable into elements, 
chiefly sensational; and of these elements some, as we 
shall see, are excited from without. Besides sensational 
elements, moreover, perception in all probability includes 
certain unemphasized relational elements. We shall try to 
justify this analysis in the second division of this chapter. 

Perception, however, may be looked at in another way, 
not as mere succession of percepts, but as perceiving, a 
consciousness of experience shared with other selves. From 
this point of view, it is a personal attitude, not a mere idea, 
connected with other ideas. Perceiving, thus regarded, is, 
in the first place, recognized as in some sense a passive 
experience, and, in this aspect of it, is sharply distinguished 
from will and faith, our active personal attitudes. This 
means that we cannot help perceiving what we actually see 


1 70 Perception 

and hear. As Bishop Berkeley says, " When in broad day- 
light I open my eyes, it is not in my power to choose 
whether I shall see or no, . . . and so likewise as to hear- 
ing and the other senses." l That is to say, in bare per- 
ception, we do not impose conditions, but we accept and 
acknowledge the independence and significance of what is 
outside us. 

This acknowledgment of something outside ourselves, 
usually described as the consciousness of external things, 
has long been admitted as the essential distinction of per- 
ception from imagination. It implies, in the first place, 
that our perceiving consciousness is, or may be, shared by 
other people than ourselves. At this moment, for instance, 
I perceive lowering heavens, pouring rain, bare trees and 
drenched sparrows, but I imagine wide horizons, brilliant 
sky, blossoming apple trees and nesting orioles. The main 
difference is this : in the one case, I assume that my ex- 
perience is shared by other people, and that everybody who 
looks out sees the same dreary landscape ; but my imagi- 
nation of the sunny orchard I regard as my private and 
unshared experience. 

It thus appears that even perception, the consciousness, 
as we call it, of outer things, is a consciousness of other 
selves as sharing our experience, a relatively altruistic, not 
an exclusively egoistic, mode of consciousness. This is the 
reason why we usually speak of sight and hearing and smell 
as higher senses and in the order named than taste 
and the dermal sense-experiences. Vision is the experience 
most readily shared by any number of selves : for example, 
everybody within a very wide area may see the mountain 
on the horizon or the Milky Way in the evening sky. Next 
to vision, sounds are the most frequently shared experi- 
ences ; millions of people hear the same thunder, and thou- 
sands may share the same concert. Even odors, though 
shared by fewer people, may be common to very many, 

1 " Principles of Human Knowledge," 29. 

Perception 171 

whereas tastes and pressures and pains, which require ac- 
tual bodily contact, and warmth and cold, whose physio- 
logical stimulation depends on conditions of the individual 
body, are far less invariably shared experiences. But the 
shared experiences are those that are described, discussed, 
repeated, measured, in other words, those which are crea- 
tively reembodied in works of art and in scientific investi- 
gations. Vision, therefore, is a higher sense than the 
others, only in so far as it is more often shared, and hence 
more often discussed and described, measured and verified. 
This is the reason why it is a more significant social mate- 
rial of intercourse, art and science. Pressure and warmth, 
on the other hand, are less valued because they are less 
often actually shared and, therefore, less easily verified and 
less frequently described. 

The fact that perception is common experience explains, 
also, why we always test the externality of things by inquir- 
ing whether other people have shared our consciousness 
of them. Am I really seeing this light or hearing this 
sound, I ask myself, or am I simply imagining it ? And 
the test which I always apply is comparison with other 
people's experience. I must actually have perceived the 
table tipping, I say, because all these others felt it ; I saw 
the ghost and did not conjure him up by my terrified im- 
agination, for these others also saw him ; I really feel the 
heat, for other people's cheeks are flushed. On the other 
hand, I admit that I imagined the bell and did not hear it, 
if everybody else remains unmoved ; and I grant that the 
burglar is an imaginary one if none of these others heard 
his footfall. Professor Royce suggestively illustrates this 
from the development of our ideas about the rainbow. 
Primarily, the rainbow seems to me and to everybody as 
external or objective a phenomenon as the sky itself or the 
sun. When, however, I discover that my rainbow springs 
up from one point of the horizon and yours from a differ- 
ent point, and when I finally complete this observation and 
conclude that everybody sees a rainbow which is spatially 

172 Perception 

a little different from every other, then my rainbow loses 
its externality, and is classified no longer as actual percep- 
tion, but as illusion. Such a test of perception would 
never be applied, if perceiving did not mean to us the 
community of experience with other people not with any 
special person, but with any or all people. 

There can, indeed, be no doubt that we all reflectively 
mean by perception, experience shared, actually or possi- 
bly, with any other selves. That is to say, looking back 
on our perception, and seeking to distinguish it from other 
forms of consciousness, we actually do define it in these 
terms. It is harder to decide whether, in the very moment 
of perceiving, we are immediately conscious of these other 
selves. The writer is inclined to the opinion that this is at 
least often true. We are walking, let us say, along a vil- 
lage street, looking idly about from stone-heap to passing 
carriage, gaunt telegraph pole and gabled house. We are 
not, to be sure, conscious of any particular person, yet we 
vaguely realize that this is a shared, a common, a public 
experience, not a private one, that the other people, actu- 
ally or conceivably present, are seeing the same sights, 
house and carriage and stone-heap. 

It should be carefully emphasized that this acknowl- 
edgment of other people, as sharing our experience, is not 
of necessity a conviction of their actual presence. Alone 
in my room, for instance, I none the less perceive, and 
do not merely imagine, crackling fire and book-shelves 
and lighted lamp, since I acknowledge, immediately or 
reflectively, that if others were present, they would share 
in what I see and hear. In other words, though the per- 
ceiver be actually alone, his experience is immediately 
realized or reflectively described as a social one. 

But perception, the consciousness of externality, in the 
developed form in which we know it, includes not merely 
the altruistic consciousness of selves who share our expe- 
rience, but a notion of something independent of conscious- 
ness and distinct from it. What is common to all selves 

Analysis of Perception 173 

must be, it is argued, independent of any self. This con- 
viction of something independent of ourselves need not, 
however, be studied in detail, for it unquestionably is not 
an immediate experience, but a later reflection, attained 
in all probability by the effort to account for the fact of 
common experience. From the standpoint, therefore, of 
psychology as a study of selves in their relation, percep- 
tion is the altruistic, passive experience shared by any 
number of unparticularized other selves. 


Perception, whether looked at as mere idea or as the 
shared experience of a self, is in any case a complex fact 
of consciousness. In other words, perception, like imagi- 
nation, thought, emotion and volition, is no single element, 
or even sensation, but a complex of elements ; it is no 
mere abstract awareness of blue or sweet, but a concrete 
consciousness, for example, of ' blue gentian ' or of ' sweet 
apple.' The perception, therefore, must be further de- 
scribed by analysis into its parts. Now, all complex expe- 
riences are in one way ' sensational,' that is, all contain 
sensational elements. No emotion is so lofty and no 
thought so sublime that it does not include within itself a 
sensational factor, a verbal image, for instance, or a core 
of organic sensations. Certain complex experiences are, 
however, so largely sensational, so nearly lacking in other 
elements, that they may well be named sensational com- 
plexes. These are perceptions and imaginations, which 
are, as everybody realizes, mainly composed of sensational 
elements, of colors, tones, pressures and the like, among 
which there doubtless lurk certain unemphasized elements, 
both the attention-element, clearness, and a relational feel- 
ing of ' holding together,' or combination. My perception 
of a lamp, for example, besides sensational elements of 
color, shape, smoothness and warmth, probably contains a 
vague feeling of the combination of these elements and of 

1 74 Perception 

their distinctness from all the rest which I see. It is, 
however, very hard to observe these elusive relational ele- 
ments, and they defy experimental verification. 

Even the bare mention of these unsensational feelings 
suggests two important general problems. The first of these 
is the question, How does the attributive feeling of clear- 
ness come to be attached to particular portions of one's 
sense-experience ? At any moment of the normal waking 
life, the retina, the basilar membrane of the ear and, in 
truth, a great number of the bodily end-organs are simul- 
taneously stimulated. The result is a rich sensational 
complex, a mass of colors and sounds, of pressures, tastes 
and odors. Primitively, as we have every reason to think, 
this sensational mass is undiscriminated, a mere 'bloom- 
ing buzz,' as James has called it. So Kaspar Hauser, who 
was imprisoned for many years in a darkened room, could 
not distinguish, when first he looked from his window, on 
a sunshiny day, the village spires, the trees, the meadows 
and the hills of the landscape before him, but saw only a 
mass of color, so confused and indistinct that he compared 
it, long afterward, to the colors as they are mixed on a 
painter's palette. At our present stage of development, 
on the other hand, a feeling of clearness is combined with 
distinct groups of these elements, and we have different 
percepts within the total complex : bird-notes and hand- 
organ clangs in the mass of sounds; and trees, houses 
and human figures within the mass of color and form. 
Our questions are : how does this differentiation of com- 
plex perceptions within the total complex of consciousness 
come about ? Why, for example, does the feeling of dis- 
tinctness attach to the limited complex of colors and forms 
which make up the visual image of a rug on the floor, 
instead of being combined with a greater complex of the 
visual elements of my present experience. 

In answer to these questions, we may point out, in the 
first place, that elements like those contained within a 
limited perception have often before occurred together, 

Discriminated Percepts 175 

with very varying accompaniments, whereas a sense com- 
plex, in its totality, is not like any preceding one. I have 
never, for example, experienced at Trafalgar Square pre- 
cisely this moment's combination of people, carriages, 
street cries, horses' hoof-beats and city odors ; but my 
percepts of the National Gallery, the Nelson Monument, 
the crowded Tottenham Court Road omnibus and the noisy 
newsboy crying the Times and Chronicle are, to all intents 
and purposes, exactly like many past percepts. 

Professor Munsterberg has pointed out another way 
the only way, as he and many psychologists hold in 
which we come to distinguish perceptions within a total 
consciousness. Limited portions of our environment nor- 
mally call out definite reactions ; and an important reason 
for distinguishing different perceptions, as of man and 
horse and plant and bicycle, is that I shake hands with the 
man, seize the horse's reins, dodge the bicycle and pick 
the flower ; in other words, I react in a definite way to each. 

From both these points of view, it is comprehensible that 
percepts and images may vary greatly in extent. At this 
moment, for instance, I may either perceive my desk and 
all the things on it as a single object, or I may perceive 
watch, pen, paper, blotter, ink-bottle, package of letters 
and books. For though I have never before seen my desk 
in this particular degree and manner of disorder, yet there 
are certain constant features mahogany color, 'rising- 
sun ' carving, serpentine pigeon-holes, rows of books 
similar to those of previous desk perceptions, and there is, 
furthermore, a relatively fixed reaction to the perception 
desk-as-a-whole, namely, the movement involved in begin- 
ning to write. My perception, on the other hand, may be 
of one of these objects only say of my watch or of a letter 
scale because I have often perceived this object, in vari- 
ous surroundings, and because it has always called out the 
same characteristic movement of my hand. 

The second of the general considerations, suggested by 
the mention of the relational elements in perception, is the 

1 76 Perception 

following: though a perception probably includes a cer- 
tain feeling of combination, it is none the less true that we 
are only very vaguely conscious of the complexity of our 
perceptions. A reflectively analyzed perception is really, 
as we shall later see, a judgment ; and a perception, in the 
strict sense of the term, does not appear to us as a combina- 
tion of sharply distinguished elements or parts. I have, 
for example, an unanalyzed, unitary experience of the tree 
at which I chance to look or of the violin note which I hear. 
The perception of the tree is not, as immediately experi- 
enced, a complex idea, realized as containing the distinct 
ingredients, tallness, conical shape, dull green, spikiness, but 
it is just ' this tree,' and most of its elements are distinguished 
by reflection only; and the note is not primarily a recognized 
compound of high pitch, moderate loudness and scraping 
noise, but is a simple experience analyzable, to be sure, 
but not necessarily or originally fully analyzed. Each per- 
ception of the tree and of the note is a unit of conscious- 
ness, and the discrimination of its elements is for practical, 
theoretical or aesthetic purposes. I notice the tree, for 
instance, in order to avoid it if I am a bicycler, or in order 
to classify it if I am a botanist, or in order to account for 
the charm of its outline if my interest is aesthetic. To quote 
from James, 1 who has laid special stress on the comparative 
simplicity of the percept : " To a child, the taste of lemon- 
ade comes at first as a simple quality. He later learns 
both that many stimuli and many nerves are involved in 
the exhibition of this taste to his mind, and he also learns 
to perceive separately the sourness, the coolness, the sweet, 
the lemon aroma, etc., and the several degrees of strength 
of each and all of these things, the experience falling 
into a large number of aspects, each of which is abstracted, 
classed, named, etc., and all of which appear to be the ele- 
mentary sensations into which the original ' lemonade 
flavor' is decomposed. It is argued from this that the 

1 " Principles," Vol. II., p. 2, note. 

Unity of Perception 177 

latter never was the simple thing which it seemed. I have 
already criticised this sort of reasoning. The mind of the 
child enjoying the simple lemonade flavor and that of the 
same child grown up and analyzing it are two entirely dif- 
ferent conditions. Subjectively considered, the two states 
of mind are altogether distinct sorts of fact. The later 
mental state says 'this is the same flavor (or fluid} which 
that earlier state perceived as simple,' but that does not 
make the two states themselves identical. It is nothing 
but a case ol learning more and more about the same topics 
of discourse or things." 

This is, in truth, a highly important, though a negative, 
characteristic of the conscious complex. Because it has 
been overlooked, two curious metaphysical theories have 
crept into the doctrine of perception : the teaching of the 
associationists, that conscious elements add themselves to 
form the percept, and the opposite theory of the spiritual- 
ists, that the mind unites the elements into the percept. 
Both theories are psychologically inadmissible because 
they make philosophical implications ; the former is fur- 
ther objectionable because it involves the invalid meta- 
physical doctrine of ideas as permanent realities ; but, 
more than all, both are unnecessary, for they incorrectly 
assume that the original experience is that of the single 
elements, and that there is, therefore, need to explain the 
later union of these elements within a percept. On the 
contrary, the original experience is of undistinguished and 
undiscriminated complexity, and it is simply explained as 
due to the complexity of the physical environment and 
thus of the physiological excitation, that is to say, as due 
to the fact that retina and basilar membrane and end- 
organs of skin and mucous membranes are simultaneously 
stimulated through the outer world. 

Several sorts of connection, therefore, have to do with 
the perception. Two of these are forms of complexity with 
which psychology has, strictly speaking, no concern : the 
combination, or occurrence together, of the physical stimuli, 

1 78 Physiological Basis of Perception 

and the physiological excitations of the percept. The 
other forms of complexity are within the psychologist's 
domain. These are, first, the fusion or association of ele- 
ments which is reflectively observed, not immediately felt, 
in the perception ; and second, a very vague and unem- 
phasized feeling of combination, which is perhaps a part 
of our perceptions. 

It will be convenient, at this point, to consider the physi- 
ological conditions of perception. These have really been 
described in our study of the elements of consciousness, 
but one important fact must be emphasized, because it 
serves, as we shall see, to differentiate perception from 
imagination. The perception always includes sensations 
which have been peripherally, not merely centrally, stimu- 
lated ; that is to say, in perception, not merely sense-cen- 
tres of the brain in the occipital and temporal lobes and 
the Rolandic area, but retina, cochlea and dermal end- 
organs are excited. Often, to be sure, a perception in- 
cludes centrally excited, as well as peripherally excited 
elements ; that is to say, the excitation of some brain-cen- 
tre, which has been stimulated from the outside, spreads 
to other brain-centres, which are thus excited from within 
and not from without. But though many parts of a per- 
ception may, in this way, be centrally excited, some part 
of it is always conditioned by external stimulus acting on 
end-organs. Probably, also, there occur excitations of cer- 
tain of the so-called ' association-centres,' the physiological 
correlates of what we have called the feelings of combina- 
tion and of distinctness. 1 

Perceptions are thus described as limited complex expe- 
riences, which are mainly sensational, and partly due to pe- 
ripheral excitation, yet inclusive of the unsensational feelings 
of clearness and of combination. They may be classified in 

1 Cf. Appendix, Section I., I. 

Classes of Perception 179 

two main groups, distinguished by three parallel sets of 
characteristics. The following outline makes this clear : 


Percept (mere idea) Perceiving (shared 


Fused Percept I. Pure Perception Completely shared 

(Peripherally excited) 

Associated II. Mixed Perception Partly shared 

(Peripherally and centrally excited) 

As this outline indicates, pure perception may be defined 
from three points of view. In the first place, all the sen- 
sations which it includes are peripherally excited by exter- 
nal stimuli, and it contains absolutely no sensations which 
are not directly aroused by objects immediately present. 
For example, the pure perception of a russet apple, out of 
reach, is the consciousness of something brown and round, 
but does not include the consciousness of smoothness and 
of taste, because the untouched apple does not immedi- 
ately stimulate the end-organs of pressure and taste in 
skin and in mucous membrane. 

The pure perception, in the second place, may be re- 
garded as a fusion, and this distinction, as we have seen, 1 
is most often made from the standpoint of idea-psychology, 
in contrasting the fused with the associated percept. The 
percept of the apple is a fusion of the feelings of brown- 
ness, roundness and the like. 

The pure perception, in the third place, if looked upon, 
not as mere idea, but as personal attitude, is an experience 
which we regard as completely shared with other people. 
For example, every normal person within sight of a russet 
apple perceives that it is brown and round. 

The mixed perception has the opposite characteristics. 
With reference, first, to its physiological condition, it may 
be described as including both peripherally and centrally 

1 Cf. Chapter XIII. 

180 Classes of Perception 

excited elements. This means, of course, that in mixed 
perception we perceive far more than what is actually 
present. Our mixed perception of the russet apple includes 
the consciousness of its smoothness, even though we do not 
touch the apple ; and in the same way we are rightly said 
to perceive the varying textures of the leading lady's 
gowns at the play ; and we are even said to hear the street- 
car bell, though the only sensation peripherally aroused is 
that of the sound, and the accompanying consciousness of 
' street-car ' includes only centrally excited sensations. 

The mixed perceptual experience, regarded as percept, 
that is as idea, is, in the second place, distinguished from 
the pure percept in that it is ' associated ' and not merely 
fused. The centrally excited feeling of smoothness is 
associated with the peripherally excited feelings of color 
and shape in the percept of the russet apple, and the con- 
sciousness of the unseen colors, form and movement of the 
street-car are associated with the consciousness of the sound 
actually heard. 

Mixed perceiving, finally, the consciousness of shared 
experience, differs from pure perceiving in that it includes, 
along with the consciousness shared by all normal per- 
sons, a more or less individual experience. Your per- 
cept and mine of the street-car bell which we hear from 
behind us, as we stand on the same windy corner, are 
assumed to be alike so far as the mere sound is concerned, 
but may differ very widely in the ' street-car ' part of 
the experience, since you may be conscious of 'blue- 
Meetinghouse-Hill-car-bell,' whereas I may be conscious of 
' green-Crosstown-car-bell.' 

It is evident that the pure perception, unmixed with 
centrally excited, associated elements, can occur only in 
primitive or in half-unconscious states. The indistinct 
awareness of light and sound to which one sometimes 
wakes from a sound sleep, the baby's consciousness of 
any wholly novel object of railroad train or ocean and 
the savage's first view of a steamboat are examples of 

Mixed Perception 181 

pure percepts. In these experiences, the sleepy person 
is conscious of mere light and sound without any conscious- 
ness of their source, and the child or the savage sees pre- 
cisely what is before him, for example, an oblong, moving 
object from which puffs of smoke arise, without any con- 
sciousness of the inner mechanism or the purpose of boat 
or of train. Such pure perceptions are, of course, replaced 
by the mixed perceptions which make up by far the greater 
part of our adult experience. 

Mixed perceptions may differ very widely in the relation 
of their centrally excited to their peripherally excited ele- 
ments. In the first class, the centrally excited elements 
are no more important than those peripherally excited, 
but are quite as constant, and indeed form, with the 
peripherally excited elements, the perception of a single 
object, scene or event. For example, the centrally 
excited sensations of the coolness and smoothness of a 
statue belong less essentially, or at any rate no more 
essentially, than the sensations of color and form to our 
visual percept of the statue ; the centrally excited sensa- 
tions of color, form, internal pressure and jerk are com- 
bined with a clanging sound actually heard, to make up 
the perception of a street-car; and the visual and odor- 
sensations roused by an orange, which is beyond one's 
reach, combine closely with the associated impressions of 
its rough, cool surface and its taste. In such cases, it may 
be observed, the association is of the close kind, called 
'assimilation,' and the centrally, as well as the periphe- 
rally, excited experience is likely to be common to most 
observers ; for example, we are practically as unanimous 
in our consciousness of the roughness of the orange as of 
its color. 

In the second class of mixed perceptions, the centrally 
excited part is far more variable, and often more significant, 
than the part peripherally excited. For example, your 
percept of a copy of the Hermes of Praxiteles may include 
a distinct consciousness of Homer's description of Hermes 

1 82 Symbolic Perception 

binding his sandals upon his feet; whereas I, who stand 
at your side and regard the figure with equal interest, may 
perceive nothing save the outline, color and background of 
the statue. Again, you and I may hear the same violin 
obligate, without seeing the player ; your perception of 
the rich harmonies may be supplemented by a conscious- 
ness of Kneisel holding the violin and drawing the bow, 
whereas my perception may include the centrally excited 
consciousness, not of Kneisel, but of Loeffler. These con- 
stituents of the perception are, it will be noticed, more 
remotely associated and far more individual, less common 
to all observers, than the fused, peripherally associated, 
common elements with which they are combined. 

One sub-class of these remotely associated and individual 
mixed perceptions is of such significance that it merits 
especial notice. This is the class of symbolic perceptions, 
in which the peripherally excited elements are entirely 
unimportant in themselves, and significant only as con- 
nected with the centrally excited parts of the perception. 
A diagram is a good illustration of the symbolic percep- 
tion. The peripherally excited, the actually seen, elements 
of a diagram are extremely insignificant; the important 
part of it is, not the actual color or form, but the mean- 
ing, in other words, the image associated with it. It is 
of no consequence, for example, in a curve representing 
the average heights of school children of different ages, 
whether the curve be black or red or blue, whether vertical 
or horizontal lines represent heights, whether the scale 
be drawn a millimetre or a centimetre to the year of age. 
Not what we actually see but what we imagine in other 
words, not the fused, peripherally excited, but the associ- 
ated, centrally excited part of such a percept is significant. 

All these forms of perception the pure perception, the 
unsymbolic and the symbolic mixed perception are admi- 
rably illustrated from the word-consciousness at different 
stages of development. To an animal, to a savage or to 
a little child, a word is a pure percept, a fusion of periphe- 

Symbolic Perception 183 

rally excited elements, a mere succession of sounds or an 
irregular outline. To the educated person, however, a 
word, even if it is not understood, so long as it is written 
in familiar letters or pronounced in familiar sounds, in 
fact if it is known to be a word, is a mixed percept. The 
words casa and olxia, for example, even to those who do 
not know their meaning, are more than irregular, black 
quirls on a white background. These fused, peripherally 
excited visual elements are combined with an assimilation 
of centrally excited sensations, the imaged sound of the 
word and the throat-sensation required to pronounce it. 

A word, finally, to the man who understands it, is a 
symbolic percept in which the actual sensations, periphe- 
rally or centrally excited, included in the mere word-con- 
sciousness, are significant merely as they suggest others. 
In fact, this word-consciousness is in itself so unimportant 
that it may be replaced by the consciousness of any one 
of half a dozen words, casa, ol/cia, Hans, maison, domus 
and still others, and yet the essential part of my experi- 
ence in reading the word ' house ' the concrete image of 
a building remains unchanged through all this permuta- 
tion of the fused and the assimilated elements. Different 
people, reading the same word, will, however, have differ- 
ent images of the concrete object which it suggests, 
though their experience of its peripherally excited ele- 
ments, sound and shape, must be common to them all. 

In conclusion, mention must be made of illusory percepts. 
The illusion is a percept which does not directly corre- 
spond with any outer object, though it contains peripherally, 
as well as centrally, excited sensational elements. It is 
contrasted with the hallucination, which contains only 
centrally excited sense-elements. The dream or delirium 
image of a ghost, for example, is a hallucination, because 
it is not excited by any external object, whereas the tradi- 
tional confusion of window curtain with ghost is an illusion. 

There are two types of illusion, as of ordinary perception, 

1 84 Illusions 

the ' pure ' and the ' mixed.' The phenomena of contrast, 
which have already been named, 1 are probably examples 
of pure illusions containing only peripherally aroused sen- 
sational elements. So also a rotated circle looks gray, 
though the physical stimuli are the black and white sectors 
of the circle, because of the persistent retinal stimulation. 
Most spatial illusions for example, the consciousness that 
the upper curve of an S is equal in size to the lower curve, 
the overestimation of large angles and underestimation 
of small ones, and the distortion of parallel lines by draw- 
ing oblique lines through them 2 belong, also, to the class 
of pure illusions. In these cases, it is probable that tactile 
sensations, usually from the unobserved motions of the eye- 
balls, are fused with visual sensations and produce these 
illusions. Such illusions, on the other hand, as that of the 
proof-reader who overlooks the omitted letter or reads the 
incorrectly printed word as correct, obviously belong to 
the class of mixed illusions, for centrally aroused sensa- 
tions are here mixed with those peripherally excited. The 
illusional character, it should be added, is not a part of the 
illusion, as immediately experienced, but a later reflection 
about it. 

We must now summarize the most important results of 
this chapter. A perception is, we have found, a complex 
and limited experience, which may be regarded as one of 
a series of ideas or as a consciousness, shared with any 
number of unparticularized selves. It is analyzable mainly 
into sensational elements, but contains also certain unsensa- 
tional feelings of clearness and of combination. It is due 
in part to peripheral stimulation and may be classified as 
pure or mixed. 

1 Cf. Chapter II., p. 30, and Appendix, Section III., II. 

2 For experiments, cf. San ford, 187-203; Titchener, 44. Cf. James, op. 
cit.yVol. II., p. 249; and see Titchener's Bibliography, " Laboratory Manual," 
I. (Instructor's), p. 305. 


WE regarded perception from two points of view, and 
in the same way we may study imagination, first, as mere 
occurrence of images, and second, as imagining, the ex- 
perience of a related self. 

We shall first consider the image, and shall at once dis- 
cover by introspection that the image, like the percept, is 
a complex idea, mainly sensational, but including also the 
unsensational elements of connection and distinctness. So 
far, however, we have not distinguished the image from the 
percept, and our immediate aim must be the discovery of 
such a distinction. Three differences at once suggest 
themselves, as one closely regards almost any image. If, 
for instance, I close my eyes and ears, to isolate myself 
from my perceptual environment, and examine the result- 
ing image of a book on the desk before me, I find that it 
differs from my percept of the book, first, in that its brown 
color is far less intense, second, in that certain features 
of the perceived book the gilt lettering and the stains 
on its surface are lacking, and finally, in that it is far 
more evanescent than the percept, that is, more readily 
displaced by other images. In a word, the percept has, 
ordinarily, more intensity, more detail and more stability 
than the image. 1 

Yet if one carefully reflect on one's imagined experience, 

1 Cf. Fechner, " Elemente der Psychophysik," II., XLIV. 

1 86 The Image 

one is sure to find occasional images which lack one or 
more of these characteristics. The percept of one's bodily 
attitude, for example, may be less intense, less accurate 
and less permanent than a visual image of a face or an 
auditory image of a melody ; one's percept of an unknown 
substance, which one merely tastes or smells, may be less 
vivid, also, than one's visual image of a bowl of strawberries 
or of a roasted duck. All this proves that intensity, detail 
and stability are merely common and not necessary char- 
acteristics of perception ; and the failure to discover a dif- 
ference in constitution and duration between the percept 
and the image throws us back upon the well-known dis- 
tinction in physiological conditions. This is the fact that 
some sensational elements of the percept are peripherally 
excited, whereas all elements of the image are centrally 
stimulated. When I imagine the Blue Grotto at Capri, 
only my occipital lobe is excited, but when I look out at 
the Grand Central Station my retina is excited as well ; 
when I imagine the break in the second movement of the 
Unfinished Symphony, only my temporal lobe is excited, 
but when I hear the street band outside my window the 
inner organs of my cochlea are in vibration. 

The distinction between percept and image is often 
stated in another way : it is said that the objects of percep- 
tion are real, whereas the objects of imagination are unreal 
and that I perceive the real hydrant or cow or sunset, 
whereas the imaged obelisk or parrot or cloud is unreal. 
The chief objection to this division is the fact, that it is 
based on a philosophical distinction, that of reality as op- 
posed to unreality, and not on any characteristic of psychic 
or of physiological facts as such. It should be noted that 
this distinction is, however, almost exactly parallel to that 
between peripherally excited and centrally excited ideas. 
For peripheral excitations come from what we call real 
objects, and even the illusory percept is at least occasioned 
by a real object. 

In holding that psychology is not concerned with reality 

Physiological Bases of Imagination 187 

and unreality, we of course do not have reference to the 
feelings of ' real ' and ' unreal ' which are frequent factors 
of our experience. A feeling of realness may well, how- 
ever, attach to an image as well as to a percept though, on 
the contrary, the image may contain the feeling of un- 
realness. Most often the image lacks either feeling. 1 

This brings us to the study of the physiological basis of 
imagination. In all probability, this differs from the physi- 
ological condition of perception only in the ways already 
suggested : in the first place, by the lack of excitation of 
the peripheral end-organs, retina, taste-bulbs and the rest ; 
and usually, in the second place, by the slighter degree, 
duration and stability of the cerebral activity. The dif- 
ferences, to recur to our former example, between the cere- 
bral accompaniment of ink-bottle percept and of ink-bottle 
image, are these : first, and fundamentally, the cerebral 
discharge is fainter and therefore less stable ; and further- 
more, it is less diffused, that is, fewer cerebral cells are ex- 
cited. An experiment performed and described by Kiilpe 2 
supports the view that the physiological conditions of per- 
cept and of image are essentially alike. On the wall of a 
dark room, at irregular intervals, he threw a very faint 
light. His subjects, required to indicate the recurrences 
of the stimulus, often supposed themselves to see the light 
when it was not present that is, they confused the imaged 
with the perceived light, the centrally excited with the faint, 
peripherally excited sensation. 

It has been held by some psychologists that an image is 
distinguished from a percept, not merely by the different 
degree and duration, but by the different locality of its 
cerebral excitation. Flechsig argues from the vagueness 
of some memory-images that they may occur when merely 
association-centres, not the sense-centres, are excited, 3 
whereas the sense-centres must, of course, be active in per- 

1 Cf. Chapter IX., p. 125. 

2 " Grundriss der Psychologic," 28, 2. 8 " Gehirn und Seele," p. 60. 

1 88 Imagining 

ception. James Ward bases a similar argument on the case 
of patients who are able to recall familiar objects, but totally 
unable to recognize them when they are seen. He con- 
cludes that the centres for percept and for image must dif- 
fer, however little, in locality. 1 But both these arguments 
are insufficient. The people who could recall and describe 
objects named to them may have had purely verbal images, 
and need not have visualized the objects at all. And every 
image, however 'vague,' contains sense-elements and must, 
therefore, be conditioned by the excitation of sense-centres. 2 
Certain experiments, interesting in themselves, performed 
years ago by G. H. Meyer, have a slight bearing 3 on this 
question and confirm the theory already stated. Meyer 
succeeded in getting negative after-images of colors which 
he had only imagined, not perceived. This may mean that 
his retina was excited, not through external physical stimu- 
lation, but by excitation transmitted by out-going nerves 
from the brain; this has suggested the possibility of a 
direct connection, during imagination, between brain and 
end-organs, and a consequent activity of the sense-organs. 
Modern physiologists, however, tend toward the purely 
cerebral account of such phenomena. 

The image-consciousness may, of course, be regarded as 
personal attitude, instead of being treated as mere idea. 
From this point of view, we speak of 'imagining,' not of 
the ' image,' and recognize that imagination, unlike percep- 
tion, is a private and unshared experience. The world of 
perception is the external world which is common to every 
one alike, but day-dreams and reveries are private property 
peculiar to a single individual. The life of imagination 
is, in fact, marked off as a sort of private domain in the 

1 Ward, "Assimilation and Association," Mind, October, 1894. 

2 Cf. Ktilpe, op. cit. 33, 6 seq. ; Donaldson, " The Growth of the Brain," 
p. 34; James, *' Principles," I., p. 592, et al. 

8 " Physiologische Untersuchungen usw.," quoted by James, op. cit., Vol. II., 
p. 66. 

Imagining 189 

midst of the public lands of common perceptual experience. 
Once within this enclosure, one may turn one's back upon 
the common lot, and feast one's eyes and delight one's ears 
on sights and sounds which are not for other people. For 
one is powerless to give entrance to anybody. One may 
long desperately to share these private experiences, but it is 
not possible to communicate them fully ; nobody ever per- 
fectly follows another person's descriptions, and no artist 
ever finds colors so glowing as those of his imagination, or 
ever reduces his image music to a written score. 

This privacy of imagination, which marks it off from 
perception and from thought, is never realized while we are 
imagining. On the contrary, we are absorbed in the imaged 
colors and outlines, in the tones and in the harmonies, or in 
the kaleidoscopic shifting, the ceaseless changes of our im- 
ages ; we do not say to ourselves, at the time, " This is my 
experience, mine, I cannot share it ; it belongs to me ; other 
people see and hear what I see and hear, but they do not 
imagine what I imagine " Only in our after reflection about 
imagining, do we assert its privacy, its unshared nature. 

Primarily, therefore, imagining, unlike perceiving, is an 
unsocial experience, since it denies the relation of myself 
or of my experience to other selves. Indirectly, however, it 
is after all a social experience. For, though we cannot 
assert the privacy of our imagination without denying that 
other selves have a share in it, yet this very denial is a nega- 
tive acknowledgment of the existence of these other selves. 

Imagining, the personal attitude, like the image or mere 
idea, is of course also a complex experience, including 
both feelings of distinctness and combination, and sensa- 
tional elements, centrally excited. 


We shall now proceed to the closer description and 
classification of imagination, whether regarded as image 
or as imagining, as personal attitude or as idea, basing our 
discussion on the following outline : 

Classes of Imagination 

(Complex of elements) 

The Image Imagining 

A. (Classified by sense-order) 

I. Concrete 

a. Simple 

1. Visual 

2. Auditory 

3. Tactual-motor, 


b. Mixed 

II. Verbal 

a. Simple 

1. Visual 

2. Auditory 

3. Tactual-motor, 


b. Mixed 

(Classified also by form B. (Classified by novelty) 

of association) 
I n total association _____ I . Reproductive Like ' 

/ a. Inaccurate 
/ b. Accurate : Memory 

In partial association. __II. Creative Relatively 



of others 

The most obvious of these divisions is the classification 
according to content, that is, according as the imagination 
is mainly of colors and shapes, of sounds, of pressures, of 
tastes or of odors. First of all, from this point of view, 
concrete imagination, that is, imagination of objects, scenes 
and events, must be contrasted with verbal or symbolic 
imagination; and then, within each of these classes, the 
varying sense-types must be enumerated. 

Concrete imagination may belong to any sense-order, 
but it is in the main either visual, auditory or tactile, or 
else it belongs to a ' mixed ' type including elements of 
several kinds. There is, in truth, no particular in which 
individuals differ more than in just this prevailing sense- 
type of their imagery. In recalling, for example, the 

Sense-orders of Imagination 191 

balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet, some people see with 
the eye of the mind the shadowy form of Romeo and the 
figure of Juliet, clear-cut against the lighted window, the 
'stony limits,' the cypresses, statues and fountains of 
the Italian garden, and the " blessed moon . . . that tips 
with silver all these fruit-tree tops ; " others, like Juliet, 
may "know the sound of that tongue's utterance," and 
may hear, in imagination, Romeo's deep-voiced love-making 
and the " silver-sweet sound " of Juliet's replies " like soft- 
est music to attending ears." Still others, finally, may 
image Romeo's movements as "with love's light wings" 
he "did o'erperch these walls." 

The study of an imaginative writer often reveals the 
predominant sense-order of his imagination. His pages 
may glow with color or thrill with music or quiver with 
rhythmic motion. For example, in the poem which fol- 
lows, of the blind poet, Philip Bourke Marston, there is 
but one color-image, but the verses are full of striking 
images of sound and odor : 

" All my roses are dead in my Garden 

What shall I do ? 

Winds in the night, without pity or pardon, 
Came there and slew. 

" All my song birds are dead in their bushes 

Woe for such things! 

Robins and linnets and blackbirds and thrushes 
Dead, with stiff wings. 

Oh, my Garden ! rifled and flowerless, 

Waste now and drear ; 

Oh, my Garden ! barren and bowerless, 

Through all the year. 

" Oh, my dead birds ! each in his nest there, 

So cold and stark ; 

What was the horrible death that pressed there 
When skies were dark ? 

192 Concrete Visual Imagination 

" What shall I do for my roses' sweetness 

The Summer round 
For all my Garden's divine completeness 
Of scent and sound ? 

" I will leave my Garden for winds to harry : 

Where once was peace, 
Let the bramble vine and wild brier marry, 
And greatly increase. 

" But I will go to a land men know not 

A far, still land, 

Where no birds come, and where roses blow not, 
And no trees stand 

" Where no fruit grows, where no Spring makes riot, 

But, row on row, 

Heavy, and red, and pregnant with quiet 
The poppies blow. 

" And there shall I be made whole of sorrow, 

Have no more care 
No bitter thought of the coming morrow, 
Or days that were." 

There is but one touch of color in this garden, the con- 
ventional red of the poppies; its summer-time charm is 
' its divine completeness of scent and sound ' ; and its au- 
tumn cheerlessness does not consist in dull and faded color- 
ing, though there is a mere mention of dark skies, but in 
winds, and cold, and in ' the horrible death which pressed 

It is easy to discover by introspection the prevailing 
sense-order of one's concrete imagery. One has only to 
imagine or recall, in succession, certain definite scenes or 
objects, and to ask oneself whether the resulting image is 
of colors and forms, of sounds, of pressures, of odors or of 
tastes, or a mixture of some or all of these elements. The 
visual is probably the most common type of concrete im- 
agery, for, in spite of great differences in vividness and 
accuracy, there are few people who cannot imagine objects 
in some vague outline or dull color. Visual images are, 

Concrete Visual Imagination 193 

however, in almost every experience, supplemented by per- 
cepts of pressure and of sound, as when we ' localize ' a 
touch by imagining the look of wrist or of forehead on 
which it falls, or a sound by imagining the shape and po- 
sition of the piano-key which occasions it. Every sculptor, 
painter or architect who sees his vision before he embodies 
it has visual imagination. The inventor also ' sees ' his 
engine or his dynamo in all its parts and connections, be- 
fore he enters upon the actual construction of it; and the 
well-dressed woman sees the end from the beginning, the 
completed gown within the shapeless fabric. Above all, 
visual imagination is the endowment of geometrician and 
astronomer. There is no more vulgar error than the every- 
day supposition that the mathematician is ipso facto unim- 
aginative. On the contrary, there is no more lofty order 
of imagination than that which sees the planets moving in 
their courses, and which images the projections and inter- 
sections of lines and planes ' produced to infinity ' ! 

Yet in spite of the value of visual images to artists, in- 
ventors and mathematicians, it must be at once acknowl- 
edged that even to them the visual type of imagination is 
not indispensable, but that it may be replaced by what we 
know as the tactile type, the imaging of the movements 
necessary to the production of sculpture, machine or figure. 
A well-known statistical inquiry, carried on by Francis 
Galton, led unmistakably to this conclusion. Galton's ques- 
tions concern one's image, on a given day, of that morn- 
ing's breakfast table. 1 The questions refer to 

"I. Illumination. Is the image dim or fairly clear? 
Is its brightness comparable to that of the actual scene ? 

" 2. Definition. Are all the objects pretty well defined 
at the same time, or is the place of sharpest definition at 
any one moment more contracted than it is in a real scene ? 

"3. Coloring. Are the colors of the china, of the 

1 " Inquiries into Human Faculty," p. 84. For a very detailed questionary 
on image-types, cf. Titchener, 51, p. 198. 

194 Concrete Visual Imagination 

toast, bread crust, mustard, meat, parsley or whatever may 
have been on the table, quite distinct and natural ? " 

As result of this investigation, Galton found that " men 
who declare themselves entirely deficient in the power of 
seeing mental pictures . . . can become painters of the 
rank of Royal Academicians." And James says of him- 
self, " I am a good draughtsman and have a very lively 
interest in pictures, statues, architecture, and decoration, 
and a keen sensibility to artistic effects. But I am an ex- 
tremely poor visualizer, and find myself often unable to 
reproduce in my mind's eye pictures which I have most 
carefully examined." * In these cases, a quickness to rec- 
ognize and to discriminate colors and forms is combined 
with the inability to imagine them. Evidently, the visual 
images are here replaced by tactile images the images 
of the motions necessary to the production of sculpture, 
machine or figure : a sculptor of this type reproduces in 
imagination the movements of his chisel, and the geome- 
trician draws his figure or indicates by imaged movements 
the sweep of orbits and the intersection of lines. 

Kiilpe discovered, experimentally, the same lack of visual 
imagination. 2 He tested the color-imagery of several stu- 
dents by pronouncing in a darkened room the names of 
colors and requiring them to describe the resulting experi- 
ences. One of these young men proved utterly incapable, 
with the strongest effort, of imagining any color whatever. 
Another historic example is Charcot's patient, a man whose 
visual imagery was impaired through nervous disease. 
" Asked to draw an arcade, he says, ' I remember that it 
contains semicircular arches, that two of them meeting at 
an angle make a vault, but how it looks I am absolutely 
unable to imagine.' . . . He complains of his loss of feeling 
for colors. ' My wife has black hair, this I know ; but I 
can no more recall its color than I can her person and 
features ! '" 3 

1 Op. cit., II., p. 53. 2 Op. cit., 27, 9. Cf. James, op. cit., II., p. 59. 

Concrete Imagination 195 

The auditory image-type is unquestionably less common 
than the visual, and it is almost always closely combined 
with imagery of the motor-tactual sort. It is the image- 
type of the great musicians, of Beethoven, for example, 
who composed his symphonies when totally unable to hear 
a note of them. But though less significant to most of us 
than the visual images, the concrete auditory imagination 
belongs, at least in some degree, to all people who are able 
to recall voices and melodies. The prevalence of auditory 
imagery is suggested by the ordinary ruse of violin players, 
who produce the effect of a diminuendo \ lengthened beyond 
the actual sound, by continuing the drawing motion of the 
bow when it no longer touches the string. 

The tactile type of imagination is, as we have noticed, 
ordinarily 'motor,' that is, the most significant pressure- 
images are those of the internal pressures occasioned by 
bodily movements. The image of the feel of ' velvet' or 
'silk,' of the consistency of dough, of the resistance of the 
water when one is swimming, of one's shortened breath 
as one is wheeling up a hill, are examples of pressure- 

Images of the other ' dermal ' sense-types, that is, images 
of pain, of warmth and of cold, seldom if ever occur. 
They seem to be supplanted by the corresponding periphe- 
rally aroused sensations. The vivid account of a wound 
or a physical injury may excite, through the connection 
of sensory cells with motor-cells and fibres, the actual, 
visceral pressure-sensations which constitute the feeling 
of faintness, and it may even excite the pain end-organs. 
In the same way, I grow actually hot over a remembered 
mortification and I shiver with cold at a revived fear. 

Smell and taste images are so infrequent that their ex- 
istence is often denied. It is said that when we imagine 
objects fragrant in themselves, such as roses or cheese or 
coffee, we imagine their look or their feel without imagin- 
ing their odor; and that when we suppose ourselves to 
imagine tastes, we are really imagining the vivid colors or 

196 Concrete Imagination 

the graceful outlines of a repast, not the actual taste of the 
food. So when Eve ' on hospitable thoughts intent ' be- 
stirs her to make ready a feast for Raphael, we are told 
that : 

" fruit of all kinds, in coat 

Rough or smooth rined, or bearded husk, or shell 
She gathers, tribute large, and on the board 
Heaps with unsparing hand. For drink, the grape 

From many a berry, and from sweet kernels pressed 
She tempers dulcet creams." 

There are tactile images in plenty but not a single definite 
taste-image in this picture ; l and the description which 
follows l is full of rich color but lacks imagined tastes. 

" There, on a slope of orchard, Francis laid 
A damask napkin wrought with horse and hound, 
Brought out a dusky loaf that smelt of home, 
And, half-cut down, a pasty costly made, 
Where quail and pigeon, lark and leveret lay, 
Like fossils of the rock, with golden yolks 
Imbedded and injellied." 

But it must be remembered that the absence of taste 
and smell descriptions may be due, wholly or in part, to 
our lack of taste and smell words. Francis, for example, 
could hardly have described the taste of the brown and 
fossil-shaped quail or of the golden yolks, had he been so 
inclined. And though smell and taste images are rela- 
tively infrequent, it is certain that many persons some- 
times imagine tastes and smells. A recent inquiry among 
fifty college students, somewhat trained in introspection, 
disclosed the fact that thirty-one are sure that they can 
imagine certain odors, such as the smell of tar, burning 
sulphur, furnace gas and mignonette. Several observers, 
also, who have carefully observed and recorded their dreams, 

1 Quoted by Grant Allen, " Physiological Esthetics." 

Concrete Imagination 197 

are certain that they have occasional dreams of unequivo- 
cal tastes and smells. There is a simple biological reason 
for the comparative infrequency, in the civilized conscious- 
ness, of olfactory and gustatory images. In the primitive 
stages of life, the sense of smell plays an important part 
in the discovery of approaching dangers, and processes 
of eating have relatively greater importance than in civil- 
ized life. Accordingly, we have every reason to think that 
the smell and taste images are well developed among 

More common, than any of these classes of concrete 
imagery, is that to which we have already referred as the 
'mixed type.' The image of any object is likely, in other 
words, to include elements of more than one sense-order : 
it is not wholly visual and still less is it entirely auditory 
or tactile. Either the visual or auditory elements may 
predominate, but an image of a dinner-party, for ex- 
ample is rarely a mere complex of the colors and forms 
of dresses, faces, candles, flowers, foods, nor yet of the 
sounds of conversation, laughter and service, but it in- 
cludes both visual and auditory images, perhaps with a 
tactile image also of the ' feel ' of linen or of silver, and 
a gustatory or olfactory image of the taste of lobster or 
the odor of jonquils. Excluding, therefore, a very few in- 
dividuals, who may have imagery of one sense-type only, 
the great majority of people have either a mere predomi- 
nance of one sort over another, or else the strictly mixed 
type of image, in which several sense-types are combined, 
and no one of them is especially prominent. 

Contrasted with all these classes of concrete imagery are 
the word-types, which are far more prevalent than any one, 
save the psychologist, realizes. In the experience of many 
people these altogether crowd out the concrete images. 
We suppose ourselves to be imagining the Roman Cam- 
pagna, the Sistine Madonna or the ninth symphony of 
Beethoven, when, as a matter of fact, we are simply say- 

198 Verbal Imagination 

ing to ourselves the words ' campagna,' ' madonna/ ' sym- 
phony.' Of course this is an artificial state of affairs. 
Words are conventional symbols, not instinctive reactions ; 
they play no part at all in the imaginative life of animal 
or of baby, and little part in that of the savage. The 
civilized being, however, is born into a world of people 
whose most characteristic activity is neither eating, walk- 
ing nor fighting, but talking. At first, through pure imi- 
tation, and afterwards because he recognizes the utility of 
language, he largely occupies himself with words, first 
heard and spoken, and later read and written. And as 
habits fall away through disuse, so, little by little, in the 
experience of most of us, word-images take the place of 
concreter images of color, sound and the like. It is un- 
necessary to dwell on the immense utility of verbal images, 
for we are already victims of what Mr. Garrison calls ' the 
ignorant prejudice in favor of reading and writing,' and, 
he might have added, ' of talking.' Words serve not only 
as the means of communication, and thus as the surest 
method of social development, but by their abstract, 
conventional form as an aid to rapid memorizing and 
to clear reasoning ; they are indispensable parts of our 
intellectual equipment; yet they are in themselves but 
poor and insignificant experiences, and they work us 
irreparable harm if they banish, from the life of our 
imagination, the warm colors, broad spaces, liquid sounds 
and subtle fragrances which might enrich and widen our 

We have ample proof that this is no purely fictitious 
danger. Galton's most significant conclusion is that the 
" faculty of seeing pictures, ... if ever possessed by men 
of highly generalized and abstract thought, is very apt to 
be lost by disuse." Many of the ' men of science,' whose 
imagination he tested, had " no more notion " of the 
nature of visual imagery " than a color-blind man . . . has 
of the nature of color. ' It is only by a figure of speech,' " 
one of them says, " ' that I can describe my recollection of 

Verbal Imagination 199 

a scene as a mental image that I can see with my mind's 
eye, ... I do not see it ... any more than a man sees the 
thousand lines of Sophokles which under due pressure he 
is ready to repeat.' " Every mixed figure is in truth a wit- 
ness to the common lack of concrete imagery. The ear- 
nest preacher who exhorted his hearers to fill their lamps 
at the fountain of knowledge, and the fervid orator who 
bewailed the cup of Ireland's misery as ' long running 
over, but not yet full,' were, of course, without the visual 
images which their words should suggest Doubtless, 
most of their hearers received these astounding statements 
without a quiver of amusement not, primarily, because 
they lacked a sense of humor, but because they were with- 
out visual imagination. 

The study of the varying forms of verbal imagination 
discloses the fact, that, like the forms of concrete imagina- 
tion, they belong usually to a visual, an auditory, a tactile 
or a ' mixed ' class, though they may conceivably be of 
other sense-types. The good visualizer images his words 
as they are printed on a page, reading them off, sentence 
by sentence or verse by verse, recalling the precise part 
of the page on which a given word or sentence appears. 
Galton tells of a statesman who sometimes hesitates in the 
midst of a speech, because plagued by the image of his 
manuscript speech with its original erasures and correc- 
tions. Even musicians may be helped by symbolic im- 
agery and may play by mentally reading their scores. 
Again, verbal images may be of words as heard; and 
such masters of musical verse as Sophokles, Tennyson 
and Swinburne must have auditory verbal imagery. One 
may ' hear ' words spoken by oneself or by others, one 
may listen in imagination to conversations between differ- 
ent people, or one may recall whole scenes of a play in 
the characteristic intonations of different actors. " ' When 
I write a scene,' said Legouve to Scribe, 1 ' I hear but you 

1 Quoted by W. James, op. cit., Vol. II., p. 60, from Binet. 

2OO Verbal Imagination 

see. In each phrase which I write, the voice of the per- 
sonage who speaks strikes my ear. Vous qui etes le 
theatre meme, your actors walk, gesticulate before your 
eyes ; I am a listener, you a spectator' ' Nothing more 
true/ said Scribe ; ' do you know where I am when I 
write a piece ? In the middle of the parterre.' ' 

One's verbal imagery, finally, may be of the tactual- 
motor type ; one may imagine oneself as speaking, or, less 
often, as writing the words. A simple proof of the fre- 
quent occurrence of these motor-images was suggested by 
Dr. Strieker : 1 the attempt to imagine a word containing 
several labials such a word as 'bob' or 'pepper' with- 
out the faintest imaged or actual movement of the lips. 
Most people will be unsuccessful in such an experiment, 
which brings to light the presence, in many word-images, 
of these centrally excited motor-sensations, the conscious- 
ness of those movements of throat and lips which accom- 
pany our actual pronunciation of words. Even the distinct 
effort to visualize words results, for people of the tactile 
type, in motor-images. James, for example, " can seldom 
call to mind even a single letter of the alphabet in purely 
retinal terms. I must trace the letter," he says, " by 
running my mental eye over its contour." This tactile 
(or tactual-motor) and the mixed tactile-auditory type, in 
which one most often has the image of both hearing and 
' feeling ' oneself talk, are perhaps the most common forms 
of verbal imagery. 

The various phenomena of aphasia, the cerebral disease 
affecting the word-consciousness, confirm these results of 
introspection. They show that verbal imagery is impaired 
by injury to the visual, to the auditory or to any tactual- 
motor centre, or by injury to the fibres connecting these 
areas, and that corresponding with these different patho- 
logical conditions, there may be independent loss of words 
as read, as heard, as spoken or as written. 2 

1 " Studien iiber die Sprachvorstellungen." Cf. James, Vol. II., p. 63. 
* Cf. Appendix, Section II. 

Verbal Imagination 201 

Several general conclusions follow from the study of 
the sense-orders of our images : the impossibility, first 
of all, of supposing that any normal person is unimagina- 
tive. Since imagination is not of necessity an artistic 
impulse, a lofty soaring in empyrean isolation from the 
everyday life, but merely, as we have seen, the possession 
of images of colors, sounds, pressures, odors, tastes or 
even of words, it follows that everybody who is conscious 
of anything whatever, in its absence, is in so far imagina- 
tive. When I am conscious of the hat which I yesterday 
bought or of the dinner which I shall eat to-day, no less 
than when I muse upon the picture I shall paint or of 
the world I shall discover, I am possessed of mental 
images, that is, I am, in a strict sense, imaginative. Our 
study, furthermore, makes it clear that almost everybody 
is capable of rousing, within his consciousness, vivid and 
accurate images of one sort or another. If, try as he will, 
the colors are washed out and the outlines indistinct in his 
visual images of an opera or of a country outlook, he may 
hear, in imagination, the varying parts of strings and horns 
in the orchestral prelude, the melodies of the songs and 
the harmonies of the choruses, or the liquid bird-notes, 
lapping waves and murmuring leaves of the summer after- 
noon. Even the minor image-types may be well developed, 
as the experiences of many defectives show. Recognition 
is not, it is true, an invariable test of imagination, 1 yet the 
blind woman who recognized garments, fresh from the 
laundry, by her sense of smell, and who sorted in this way 
the fresh linen of a whole institution, presumably also had 
images of many different odors. Helen Keller, who has 
been blind and deaf from earliest childhood, so that she 
can have neither visual nor auditory images, has, never- 
theless, peculiarly vivid and detailed mental images of 
pressures, movements and even of tastes and smells. 2 

i Cf. p. 194. 

* Cf. Perkins Institute Annual Report, 1891, p. 90. 

202 Reproductive Imagination 

A second, common division of the image-consciousness 
is based upon the distinction between the repeated and 
the relatively novel experience. We characterize as 're- 
productive ' our consciousness of places we have seen, of 
music we have heard, and of events which we have lived 
through or heard about. And we contrast with this the 
creative imagining of new faces, new scenes and new 
environments. Of course this newness never extends to 
the elements of consciousness, but only affects their com- 
bination. That is to say, nobody ever imagines an abso- 
lutely new color or sound or taste, 1 but novel combina- 
tions of color, sound and taste may be imagined by 
painter, by musician and by artist-cook. The creative 
imagination, in the words of Ruskin, 2 "regarding such 
qualities only as it chooses for a particular purpose, . . . 
forges these qualities together in such groups and forms 
as it desires." 

The most important form of reproductive imagination is 
memory, the accurately repeated experience. Its signifi- 
cance in our conscious life is so great that we shall do 
well to devote an independent chapter 3 to the study of it. 
In comparing the mere reproductive imagination (other 
than memory) with creative imagination, we must be on 
our guard against a popular misconception, the belief that 
the value of imagination is properly gauged by its inven- 
tiveness. At this rate the " Leavenworth Case" and the 
" Mother Goose " rhymes are marks of higher imagination 
than " Cranford " and the " Child's Garden of Verses," 
and the novels of Jules Verne are more imaginative than 
Thackeray's. The truth is that not novelty, however 
highly prized, but vividness and fidelity, form the supreme 
test of imagination. "A work is imaginative," George 
Lewes declares, 4 " in virtue of the power of its images over 

1 Cf. Hume ("Treatise of Human Nature," Bk. I., Pt. I., Section I. ) for a 
suggestion that a * new ' intensity might be imagined. 

2 " Modern Painters," Vol. IT., Pt. III. 8 Cf. Chapter XVI. 
4 " Principles of Success in Literature," Chapter III. 

Creative Imagination 203 

our emotions, not in virtue of any rarity or surprisingness 
of the images themselves ; " and Ruskin says that " the 
virtue of originality that men so strain after is not new- 
ness (there is nothing new), it is only genuineness." For 
the novel image, if it is not also truthful, is mere distortion, 
and the reproduction, if distinct in outline, intense in 
color and accurate in characteristic detail, is an image of 
far higher type. To quote Lewes once more : " The under- 
lying principle of the true poet is that of 'vision in art,' 
and his characteristic method is great accuracy in depict- 
ing things ... so that we may be certain the things 
presented themselves to the poet's vision and were painted 
because seen." 

Two main forms of creative imagination are ordinarily 
distinguished : the mechanical and the organic. The 
mechanical image is a complex, not of qualities, but of 
relative totals, of experiences complete in themselves, as if 
a painter were to combine the hair of del Sarto's Caritas, 
with the flesh of Rubens's Magdalene and the figure of 
Raphael's Madonna della Sedia. The organic image is 
a complex, not of totals, complete in themselves, but of 
single elements or of fragmentary aspects of different 
objects, which fuse into a new whole of organically related 
parts. Within the class of organic imagination, one may 
distinguish, also, the fanciful from the universal imagina- 
tion, on the ground that the first lays stress on unessen- 
tial qualities which accidentally interest an individual, 
the second on essential, universally appealing qualities. 
Ruskin's comparison of Milton's description of the ' pansy 
freaked with jet ' with Shelley's verses about the daisy, 
' constellated flower that never sets,' clearly indicates the 
difference between the evanescent, individual, trivial nature 
of the ' fanciful ' and the abiding, universal charm of the 
essentially imaginative. 1 

1 This classification closely follows Ruskin's, though his terms differ from 
ours. ' Reproductive Imagination ' he names the ' Theoretical Faculty.' 

2O4 Images in Total Association 

The foregoing classification of imagination, first accord- 
ing to sense-types and then according to novelty, is possible 
whatever our fundamental conception whether, in other 
words, we start from a theory of the image, the mere idea, 
or from the standpoint of imagining, the personal attitude. 
The terms 'imagining' and 'image' have, therefore, been 
used indiscriminately in the description of the classes of 
imagination. We must notice, however, that the distinc- 
tion of reproductive from productive imagination is more 
readily stated in terms of the personal consciousness than in 
terms of mere successive ideas. For reproductive imagina- 
tion, though it is indeed, as imagination and not percep- 
tion, peculiarly my own, none the less usually resembles 
other people's experience ; whereas creative imagination is, 
by its very nature, essentially unlike the perceptions and 
imaginations of others. The distinction between fancy 
and universal imagination is even more definitely made 
from the point of view of the relation of one self to 

A final distinction of importance requires the conception 
of the image-consciousness as succession of ideas. This is 
the classification of images, according as they are associated 
with a preceding percept or image, as totality, or with a 
persisting element or group of elements of consciousness ; 
that is to say, according as they occur in ' total ' or in ' par- 
tial ' association. People whom we call unimaginative are 
those whose association is of the relatively total type, to 
whom the present scene or object, as a whole, suggests the 
succeeding image. The imagery of the 'imaginative' 
person, on the other hand, is characterized by focalized, 
associative synthesis ; some infinitesimal feature of the 
present scene or obj ect suggests the succeeding image. An 
unimaginative child, for example, bidden to write a compo- 

' Mechanical Imagination ' he calls ' Composition, not Imagination.' Organic 
Imagination ' he names ' Penetration,' and what we have called ' Universal 
Imagination ' is his ' Contemplation.' 

Images in Partial Association 205 

sition about a cup, informs us that a cup is for drinking, 
that it has a saucer, that some cups are made of tin and 
some of china. In the eyes of the imaginative child, on the 
contrary, a cup is not primarily a vessel of clay, but a prize, 
the reward, perhaps, of some champion in a wheeling con- 
test. To the literal child the cup is just a cup, suggesting, 
as a whole, the saucer in which it rests or the material of 
which it is made. The keener imagination seizes upon 
one fragmentary aspect of the cup, one only among its 
various uses, and this becomes the starting-point of some 
tale of thrilling adventure. In the same way, the image by 
total association is characteristic of the garrulous story- 
teller, who cannot name a man's father without detailing 
the family genealogy, nor mention a town without recall- 
ing the period of its settlement. The true poet or artist, 
on the contrary, the creative scientist or mathematician, 
the seer in any domain of conscious life, has visions linked 
together by the subtler connections of the partial or focal- 
ized association. 

It is evident that the value of images through partial 
association will depend upon the selection of elements, in a 
total fact of consciousness, as starting-point of the associa- 
tion. If the artist's attention is absorbed in the accidental 
markings of the flower and not rather in its outline, in the 
variegated figures of the gown and not in the expression of 
the face, in the brilliancy of the conversations and not in 
the development of the characters, his imagery is fantastic, 
realistic, brilliant, but does not belong to imagery of the 
highest order or the most abiding value. 

This division into ' totally associated ' and ' partially 
associated ' images is very nearly, though not completely, 
parallel, as will be observed, with the distinction of repro- 
ductive from productive imagination. Our outline 1 indi- 
cates the results of a comparison of the two forms of 
classification. It is evident at once that the image in total 

1 a. p. 190. 

206 Prosaic Imagination 

association is always reproduced, since a given subject, as a 
whole, if it suggests anything, must remind me of some- 
thing connected with it in my own experience. On the 
other hand, an object in partial association may be either 
reproduced or novel (though of course each separate part 
of it is reproduced, since only combinations, never elements 
of consciousness, are novel). 

All these distinctions are illustrated, in a very striking 
way, by a comparison of Shelley's " Sensitive Plant" with 
Cowper's "Winter Garden." "Who loves a garden," is 
Cowper's prosaic beginning, 

" . . . loves a greenhouse too. 
Unconscious of a less propitious clime, 
There blooms exotic beauty, warm and snug, 
While the winds whistle and the snows descend. 
The spiry myrtle with unwith'ring leaf 
Shines there, and flourishes. The golden boast 
Of Portugal and western India there, 
The ruddier orange, and the paler lime, 
Peep through their polish'd foliage at the storm, 
And seem to smile at what they need not fear. 
Th' amomum there with intermingling flow'rs 
And cherries hangs her twigs. Geranium boasts 
Her crimson honors, and the spangled beau, 
Ficoides, glitters bright the winter long. 
All plants, of evVy leaf, that can endure 
The winter's frown, if screened from his shrewd bite, 
Live there, and prosper. Those Ausonia claims, 
Levantine regions these ; th' Azores send 
Their jessamine, her jessamine remote 
Caffraia; . . . ." 

No one can read this list of flowers without the conviction 
that Cowper is either ' reproducing ' the rows of plants as 
he saw them one after another in a greenhouse, or else 
that he is framing an image after the most mechanical 
fashion. There is certainly little that is individual in the 
entire description, and the images, regarded from the stand- 
point of association, are connected as undiff erentiated totals, 

Poetic Imagination 207 

instead of being broken up into more remotely suggestive 

Shelley also enumerates the flowers of his garden, but in 
a very different manner. 

" The snowdrop, and then the violet, 
Arose from the ground with warm rain wet, 
And their breath was mixed with fresh odor, sent 
From the turf, like the voice and the instrument. 

" Then the pied wind-flowers and the tulip tall, 
And narcissi, the fairest among them all, 
Who gaze on their eyes in the stream's recess, 
Till they die of their own dear loveliness ; 

" And the Naiad-like lily of the vale, 
Whom youth makes so fair and passion so pale, 
That the light of its tremulous bells is seen 
Through their pavilions of tender green." 

We have here neither a reproduction nor a mechanical 
composition, but an organically related, individual experi- 
ence. Almost every one of these exquisite images is con- 
nected in partial association with that which has preceded 
it : the mingling of earth-fragrance with the odors of the 
flowers suggests the iriterpenetration of voice and instru- 
ment ; the early fading of the narcissi, mirrored in the 
stream, rouses the fancy that they " die of their own dear 
loveliness ; " the tall lily leaves suggest sheltering pavilions. 
And, side by side with Cowper's superficial and fanciful 
comparison of Ficoides with the spangled beau, Shelley's 
images of music, of beauty and of passion fairly throb with 
life and with meaning. 

The classification of images, by the type of their associa- 
tive connection with other psychic facts, takes no account of 
the possibility of 'free,' that is of psychically unconnected, 
images. Ordinary experience furnishes many apparent 
illustrations : the unexpected images which spring up con- 
trary to the trend of one's thought the ludicrous image, 

208 Free Images 

for example, which upsets one's gravity on a solemn occa- 
sion, or the sudden apparition, without warning, of a long- 
forgotten face or scene. Many of these images, it is true, 
are not really free, that is, unassociated, but are actually 
connected by some common, but unattended-to, feature 
with the preceding fact of consciousness. The sudden 
image of Michael Angelo's Fawn, for instance, athwar^ a 
religious service reverently followed, may really be induced 
by an accidental and almost unnoticed glimpse of a gro- 
tesque profile ; and the forgotten name which rises to my 
lips, in the midst of my reading, may be itself suggested by 
the rhythm of a word on the page before me. There still 
remain, however, instances of images which seem utterly 
unconnected, and incapable of connection, with the preced- 
ing facts of consciousness. 

One way of accounting for these free images is a mere 
restatement, in metaphorical terms, of their occurrence : a 
forgotten idea is said to exist below the threshold of con- 
sciousness, an associated idea is defined as one which has 
risen to the threshold of consciousness through the help of 
another idea, and a free idea, finally, is described as one 
which, quite unaided and solely by its own power, reap- 
pears in consciousness. The assumption, on which this 
associationist theory is based, is the continued existence of 
psychic facts of which no one is conscious. 1 This concep- 
tion, however, is logically and psychologically impossible, 
for a psychic fact is by definition a fact of consciousness, 
and an unconscious fact of consciousness is as impossible 
as a straight curve. The only explanation of the 'free 
image ' is, indeed, in cerebral terms ; it is due to a func- 
tioning of fibres, connecting different brain-areas, and 
perhaps also to the excitation of association-centres in the 
brain; but this cerebral activity is unaccompanied by 

This long chapter will be concluded by a practical remark 

i Cf. Chapter XXVIII., p. 438. 

Development of Imagination 209 

upon the means of fostering and of enriching the life of the 
imagination. The development of imagination is primarily 
an education of perception. To gain clear and vivid images, 
one must first possess accurate and vivid percepts. For, 
since the central nervous excitation is originally brought 
about by the peripheral, since the image, in other words, 
follows upon the percept, unless one has intense and clearly 
outlined percepts, satisfactory images are impossible. I 
am, therefore, deliberately cultivating my imagination when 
I shut myself away from distracting objects, fixate keenly, 
and prolong as far as I can the object of perception. A 
classic example of this method is given by Wordsworth in 
his "Daffodils": 

" I gazed and gazed but little thought 
What wealth to me the show had brought, 
For oft, when on my couch I lie 
In vacant or in pensive mood, 
They flash upon the inward eye 
Which is the bliss of solitude." 

This at once suggests the justification of the effort to 
develop the life of the imagination. For imagination is 
more than the ' bliss of solitude ' and the light of mo- 
notony ; its bright colors may overlay the sordid discomforts 
of one's actual environment, and its music may drown the 
discordant cries of the present reality. By imagination, 
in truth, every man may create a world of his own ; and to 
widen and vivify his imagination is to widen and enrich 
this world of his inalienable possession. 


IMAGINATION (continued-} : MEMORY 

MEMORY has been defined already as accurate, reproduc- 
tive imagination, and its essential feature is, therefore, the 
exactness of the repetition. In framing this definition, we 
must not ignore the fact that the word ' memory ' is often 
used, with entirely different meaning, in the sense of 
recognition or consciousness of familiarity. Since, how- 
ever, the two conceptions, ' repetition ' and the ' feeling of 
familiarity,' are not perfectly parallel, it is wisest to use 
the term ' memory ' in the former sense, and not to make it 
equivalent to recognition. 

Memory is distinguished, merely as complete or incom- 
plete. My memory of a friend, for example, may include 
a consciousness of his name and history ; I may know that 
we travelled to Olympia, ten years ago, in the same party ; 
that we next met at a musicale in New York; that his 
ancestors came over with William the Conqueror ; that he 
has studied in Berlin ; that his wife is a blonde ; and that 
he now belongs to the diplomatic corps in Vienna. On 
the other hand, I may say that I remember a man when I 
have merely a correct verbal image of his name, or a vague, 
yet accurate, image of the scene of our meeting. Strictly 
speaking, a memory is incomplete unless it resembles all 
conceivable details of the past; and absolutely complete 
memory is certainly very rare. The usual test of the 
completeness of memory is the ability to name an object, 
but, important as the name-image is, it is not sufficient to 
constitute a memory complete. In itself, indeed, the name 
of person or of object is the least important of details, and 


Conditions of Memory 2 1 1 

is significant only as peculiarly suggestive of other facts. 
The plot of a novel, the interests and achievements of one's 
companion at dinner, the way to reach one's destination 
all these are of more importance than the bare verbal 
images of the names of book, of man, or of street. 

This chapter will concern itself especially with the 
conditions of what is called a good memory, and with 
the means of strengthening the memory, or tendency to 
accurate reproduction. The conditions of memory cer- 
tainly deserve especial study, for everybody knows the 
importance, in all callings and walks of life, of images 
exactly resembling previous experience precise reproduc- 
tions of name, scene, event and verbal sequence. It is 
true, to be sure, that the importance of memory may be 
overestimated. There are many things which we may 
rediscover as easily as we may recall them ; and there are 
countless details which it is perfectly useless to remember. 
Memory should never, therefore, be an end in itself irrespec- 
tive of its content, and James is quite right in his observa- 
tion l on the farmer who remembered the kind of weather 
on every day of forty-two years, " pity that such magnifi- 
cent faculty could not have found more worthy application." 
As a basis for other sorts of experience, reproductive imagi- 
nation is, however, of great significance. Emotional life 
is the more vivid the more one relives past experiences, 
and intellectual achievement is conditioned by the readi- 
ness and accuracy with which one recalls results already 
gained. The commonest and most effective method for 
stimulating memory is repetition of the fact to be recalled. 
Given a sufficient number of repetitions of a percept or 
image which is not too complicated, and any normal per- 
son may recall anything! The difference in individual 
memories may, in fact, be tested by discovering the differ- 
ent amounts of repetition required for memorizing the 
same material under similar conditions. 

Repetition is one of the most important pedagogical 

1 op. v., Vol. I., p. 661. 

212 Repetition of Images 

methods, precisely because it is always at hand. No amount 
of fixation or narrowing can give intensity to certain experi- 
ences, but one may repeat stimuli until they are, willy-nilly, 
recalled. The comparative value of this heavy labor of 
repetition has, however, to be considered. Is the play 
worth the candle ? we must ask ourselves. Is the repro- 
duction worth the expenditure of time and energy by which 
alone it is secured ? This is a question to be decided afresh 
for almost every type of experience, by every individual. 
Some things, such as the multiplication table and the sense- 
less spelling of English words, one simply must be able to 
recall, however wearisome the repetition. Other details, 
such as the names of one's students or the dates of Greek 
history, one may be sorrowfully resigned to lose, for lack 
of time to drill oneself often enough in them. 

Very valuable and painstaking experimentation has con- 
cerned itself with the more exact relations between repe- 
tition and reproduction. Most important is the work of 
Dr. Hermann Ebbinghaus, 1 whose experiments on himself 
were carried on through two periods of more than a year 
each. As material he used twenty-three hundred meaning- 
less syllables, of three letters, arranged in series of varying 
length. The immediate aim of each experiment was the 
discovery of the number of readings necessary to the cor- 
rect, unhesitating reproduction of the series from first to last 
syllable. The experiments, in the first place, confirm ordi- 
nary experience, showing, among other things, (i) that the 
time of learning increases with the length of series, and 
(2) that the greater the number of repetitions the shorter 
the time in which a series can be relearned. The experi- 
ments also supplement everyday observation in several par- 
ticulars. They show that more is forgotten, in the first 
fifteen minutes after learning such a series, than in the 
month which follows the quarter-hour ; and that one can 
reproduce as much of it after a month as after two days. 

1 "tiber das Gedachtniss," Leipzig, 1885. 

Association of Images 213 

Another method of facilitating reproduction is of incom- 
parably greater significance in the life of consciousness. It 
consists in the association, or relation, of the fact to be re- 
called with other facts. As James says, " The secret of a 
good memory is the secret of forming diverse and multiple 
associations with every fact we care to retain." There are 
three ways in which this multiplication of associations 
facilitates memory. It contributes to a completer first-hand 
knowledge of the fact to be recalled ; it increases the num- 
ber of topics which are likely to recall this one ; and it 
connects the fact to be remembered with other facts, into 
a system so close that only one central fact, in place of a 
multitude of different ones, has to be recalled. In illustra- 
tion of the effectiveness of the multiplication of relations, 
let us suppose that I wish to recall the year, 1861, of my 
cousin's birth, and that I cannot directly remember it. I 
proceed to associate the year with other events, the admis- 
sion of Kansas as a free state and the firing on Fort Sumter. 
The effort to recall the date is now likely to be successful, 
through first reminding me of one or more of the historic 
dates. The experiments of Ebbinghaus, already described, 
incidentally corroborate this conclusion. A comparison 
of the repetitions, necessary to memorize his meaningless 
series, with those required for certain stanzas of Byron 
series of words directly connected in meaning and rich in 
other associations showed an enormous reduction of time 
in the later experience. 

The mere multiplication of suggestions is, however, far 
less effective than the systematic grouping of facts to be 
remembered by some fundamental likeness. I am study- 
ing, we will suppose, the fall of Constantinople and the 
consequent dispersion of scholars and renaissance of learn- 
ing ; I connect this intellectual awakening with the con- 
temporaneous invention of printing ; I observe the analogy 
of this mental progressiveness with the outbreak of the 
adventurous spirit of travel and the consequent discovery 
of America ; and thus I bind all these events to the well- 

214 Apperception of Images 

known date of the landing of Columbus, remembering them, 
not in their detail, but as an organic unity. To remember 
Greek verb-forms by their connection with a common root, 
or poems by their adherence to a certain verse-scheme, are 
illustrations of the same method. Most mnemonic devices, 
on the contrary, merely multiply unrelated associations, or 
else combine the facts to be remembered in artificial sys- 
tems of insignificant facts. The fundamental memory- 
method is thus the unification or grouping or, as it has been 
called by Herbart and Wundt, the apperception of facts 
in a whole of related parts. This, however, as we have 
seen, is what we mean by judgment and reasoning, and 
characterizes all effective intellectual achievement. We 
are justified, therefore, in the assertion that successful 
memorizing must be thoughtful ; and in the consoling 
conclusion that even the physiologically ' unretentive ' 
individual can strengthen his memory, by persistent seek- 
ing for fundamental similarities, by constant widening of 
his thought-systems to include more and more details. 
Facts thus intimately interwoven with the very ' warp and 
woof ' of one's mental life simply cannot be unravelled or 

The next and last of these rules for the cultivation of 
memory involves the principle of selection : the memory 
is more effective when the fact to be remembered belongs 
to the natural image-type ; the visualizer, for example, has 
most accurate, complete and readily suggested visual 
images. So far as possible, therefore, one's memorizing 
should use this natural sense-material ; and one should 
visualize, or repeat, or listen to the words to be remembered, 
according as one's memory is visual, ' motor,' or auditory ; 
indeed, one should ordinarily employ all three methods, 
since most people's images are of what is called the mixed 
type. This is one of the principles underlying many so- 
called modern methods of education. The child no longer 
studies his spelling lesson merely by glaring at the open 
page, but he repeats it and writes it and listens to it. And 

Verbal Memory 215 

one learns to read one's Greek not merely ' at sight,' but 
'at hearing,' that is, one familiarizes oneself with the 
sound as well as with the sight of the words. The most 
universally effective application of this principle is in the 
effort, so far as possible, to replace the verbal by the con- 
crete memory image. 1 Almost without exception, every- 
body remembers concrete experiences more readily than 
bare words, and very naturally, since the words are ordi- 
narily insignificant in themselves, and only useful when 
they serve to suggest these same concrete things. This is 
one great reason why it is better to travel for oneself than 
to read descriptions of foreign lands, and better to watch a 
machine in motion than to hear an account of its move- 
ments. It is a reason, also, why it is absolutely essential to 
practise oneself in translating the words one reads into 
concrete images, so that one never leaves a page without 
' seeing ' the faces or scenes which have been described. 
Many word-series, it is true, are significant in them- 
selves, as well as representative of concrete meanings. 
These are the words of the great poets and the masters 
of aesthetic prose, word-series with a music of their own, 
a liquid modulation of sound, a swinging metre or a win- 
ning alliteration. The value of an exact verbal memory 
for great poetry and for majestic prose is, therefore, 
simply immeasurable. It widens and invigorates the life 
of imagination, enriches the literary style, increases the 
mental effectiveness. The ability to recall, word for word, 
Hebrew psalms, Homeric descriptions, Roman oratory, 
Shakespearian drama and German lyrics means the sure 
possession of what the greatest artists have wrought, and 
the potent means of enriching and ennobling one's life of 
aesthetic enjoyment and intellectual aspiration. It follows, 
of course, that every child should be trained to commit to 
memory poems and prose works of literary beauty. Yet 

1 Cf. Kirkpatrick, Psychological Review, Vol. I., p. 602; cf. also "Short 
Studies in Memory and Association from the Wellesley College Psychological 
Laboratory," Psychological Review, Vol. V., p. 452. 

216 Verbal Memory 

a caution is needed. All forms of memorizing are intel- 
lectual exercises of secondary importance, since memory, 
as we have seen, is subsidiary to the life of thought, of 
emotion, and of will. Now, there are many people, whose 
verbal memory is so abnormally dull and inaccurate, that 
they might better devote themselves to problems in arith- 
metic, experiments in chemistry or study of Greek syntax, 
than to memory exercises of any sort. Many a child has 
been hunted and harried into a condition of abject misery 
by the requisition of so many poems per week, and many 
an older student has devoted time to memorizing his three 
hundred lines of Shakespeare which might better have 
been applied to understanding their meaning. In a word, 
then, a good verbal memory is an intellectual luxury, not 
a capacity indispensable to vigorous mental life. Great 
pains should, therefore, be taken to stimulate and to cul- 
tivate it, but when an individual is almost utterly devoid 
of it, he should not be condemned to a life of ceaseless 
and all but useless repetition. 

The physiological conditions of memory, as distinguished 
from mere imagination, perhaps demand more extended 
consideration. It is evident, in the first place, that the 
efficiency of memory is in part affected by what has been 
called the retentiveness of brain-substance, that is, its 
tendency to reexcitation. This ' tenacity/ as James calls 
it, differs enormously in different individuals, and ordina- 
rily decreases from youth to age. It is probably increased, 
to some degree, by the prolongation of intense stimuli in 
attentive perception, and also by the repetition of stimuli 
in voluntary memorizing. Differences in the physiological 
retentiveness of distinct brain-areas are regarded in the 
selection of natural memory-material for memorizing. 
But, though it is likely that this neural tendency to re- 
excitation may be strengthened, especially by the repeti- 
tion of stimuli, it must nevertheless be admitted that, as 
James has pointed out, the effect of repetition is a limited 

Physiological Conditions of Memory 217 

one, strengthening the memory for particular facts or 
words only, instead of promoting a general ability to 
recall all sorts of facts. " No amount of culture," James 
says, 1 " would seem capable of modifying a man's general 
retentiveness." "This," he adds, "is a physiological qual- 
ity given once for all with his organization, which [an 
individual] can never hope to change," except as he 
betters it by generally helpful bodily conditions. Evi- 
dently, therefore, the most important physiological results 
of memory-methods are the origination, the multiplication, 
the strengthening and the unification of connections 
among the different brain-centres, and are brought about 
by the systematic development of associations. 

1 Op. cit. t Vol. I., pp. 663, 664. 



IN this chapter, we shall discuss the experience usually 
known as thought, from the two points of view already famil- 
iar to us. We shall study ' the thought/ the temporally dis- 
tinct idea, without explicit reference to any self, and we shall 
also consider ' thinking,' the experience of a self. Accord- 
ing to the first of these conceptions, a thought is described 
merely as a complex idea, in which untemporal, relational 
elements are prominent. In other words, a thought is the 
immediate consciousness of a synthesis or unity which is 
not temporal. It is contrasted, on the one hand, with 
association and fusion, forms of unity of which one is not 
immediately conscious, and on the other hand, with mem- 
ories, beliefs and volitions, which are, as we shall see, 
ideas of temporal unity, of the relation of present to past 
or to future. 1 

But though we may regard thought as a mere succession 
of temporally distinguished thoughts, yet it also meanr 
more than this ; we are always conscious of thinking 
selves as well as of succeeding thoughts. Thought, in 
this sense, is like perception, which has been defined as 
social experience, that is, as consciousness shared with 
other selves. For generalization, judgment and compar- 
ison, the more important forms of thought, are experiences 
which we suppose ourselves to share with an indefinite 

1 For instances of this common theory of thought as consciousness of 
unity, cf. Wundt, " Physiolog. Psychologic," 3^ Aufl. p. 495 ; Ladd, " Psy- 
chology Descriptive and Explanatory," p. 432, and Hoffding, "Outlines of 
Psychology," Eng. trans., p. 173. 


Thinking 219 

number of un particularized other selves. There is some- 
thing private and particular about our reveries and our 
day-dreams, but our thoughts are never regarded as per- 
sonal property. Our castles in Spain are private dwell- 
ings, but the great halls of thought swing wide to every 
comer. This is most readily illustrated from the more 
abstract sorts of thinking, and the most striking of all 
examples are from logic and mathematical science. No 
man appropriates the multiplication table or the axiom 
that ' things equal to the same thing are equal to each 
other/ or the theorem that the sum of the angles of a 
triangle equals two right angles, as an experience peculiar 
to himself. One would as soon lay special claim to the 
stars in their courses or to the law of gravitation. But in 
spite of the fact that the abstract sciences most brilliantly 
illustrate the social character of thinking, any generaliza- 
tion or judgment, however concrete, is also as conceivably 
a common experience. Not merely one's conception of 
' numeral ' or of ' triangle/ but one's general notion of 
' food ' or of ' animal ' is always acknowledged as shar- 
able or public, as in no sense a particular experience of 
one's own. It makes no difference to our psychological 
analysis, whether or not we are correct in this assumption 
that our conceptions and judgments are shared. As a 
matter of fact, we are often most wofully mistaken, and 
arguments usually arise from the unrealized difference in 
the concepts marked by the same word. But, none the 
less, we do always in our thinking assume the conceivable 
universality of the experience, we acknowledge that other 
selves have, or may have, the concepts which we possess, 
and that they make or might make the same judgments 
on the same subjects. 

From imagination, or the hypothetically unsharable ex- 
perience, and from emotion, will and faith, the acknowl- 
edged relation to strongly individualized selves, thinking, 
like perceiving, is thus distinguished as a common experi- 
ence of 'any/ that is of unparticularized, selves. In the 

220 Thinking 

case of most forms of thinking, the recognition of this com- 
munity of experience is usually an after reflection, not an 
immediate constituent of the thought. In the moment of 
comparing or in that of judging, one may not realize the 
actual or possible conformity of another's consciousness. 
One may note the difference between two chords or one 
may reason about the outcome of the Spanish War, without 
any conscious acknowledgment of the possible agreement 
of everybody else. Conception, or generalization, on the 
other hand, is a form of consciousness in which, as in emo- 
tion, the consciousness of other selves is an inevitable and 
a significant part of the experience. The very word ' any,' 
the characteristic epithet, as we shall find, of the general 
notion, has a sort of personal aroma. * Any cat,' ' any 
triangle,' 'any truth,' these expressions always mean to 
us not merely the presence, in these facts of consciousness, 
of a relational factor, but their reference to an indefinite 
number of unindividualized selves. ' Any triangle ' is the 
triangle in which the features which I chance to imagine, 
the size and color and degree of obliqueness, are quite un- 
important, whereas the triangularity (the part experienced 
by everybody who thinks of the triangle) is altogether 

Since thinking, then, like perceiving, acknowledges the 
common experience of unparticularized other selves, the 
question arises, How is it to be distinguished from perceiv- 
ing ? From the purely social standpoint there is in fact 
no distinction between the two, but they are contrasted 
from another point of view. It has been shown that de- 
veloped perception takes account of ' external things ' ; and 
that physical externality involves two factors, (i) admitted 
reference to any selves, and (2) assumed independence of 
all selves. The thought, as distinct from the thing, lacks 
precisely this second element of physical externality. Com- 
parison, concept and judgment, the facts of thought, are 
never supposed, as ' things ' are, to be independent of the 
selves who think. Multiplication table and geometrical 

Genera liza tion 2 2 1 

figures and laws of thought, in spite of the certainty and 
universality which sharply distinguish them from the law- 
less and capricious and private objects of our imagination, 
are yet regarded as conscious experiences, psychic phe- 
nomena, not physical things ; in other words, they are never 
cut loose from selves; and this is their great distinction 
from objects of perception. 


In whatever way one regards thought, whether as a 
thought or as thinking, as mere idea in a series, or as shared 
experience of selves, it is a complex consciousness which 
may be analyzed into elements, and which includes always 
a relational element without temporal reference. We shall 
proceed to the closer analysis and description of the most 
important forms of thought. Obviously, there are as many 
types of thought as there are relational elements without 
temporal reference. We shall, however, confine our dis- 
cussion to the three sorts of thought most often considered : 
conception, judgment and reasoning, referring incidentally 
also to comparison, the thought-complex distinguished by 
feelings of likeness and of difference. 


By generalization (or conception) we may mean both gen- 
eralizing, the personal experience, and the general notion, 
or concept, the idea regarded without reference to any self. 
Both alike are complex experiences including the relational 
feeling of generality. In what follows, we shall, it is true, 
most often consider the ' general notion,' that is, the com- 
plex idea ; but all that we shall say will be perfectly ap- 
plicable to generalizing, the personal experience. 

We must first discuss the nature of the feeling of gen- 
erality. My consciousness of ' a rose,' for example, is a 
case of concrete perception, mainly a complex of sensa- 
tions ; when, on the other hand, I am conscious of ' rose,' 

222 The Feeling of Generality 

my experience includes not only the image, probably 
blurred or dull, of a rose (very likely of more than one 
rose), but another feeling, quite different from any sensa- 
tional or affective experience. We may call this supple- 
mentary experience the feeling of generality, and we shall 
probably find that it includes two simpler experiences, that 
of likeness and that of wholeness. In other words, the feel- 
ing of generality involved in my consciousness of ' vase ' or 
of 'justice' seems to me to include both the feeling with 
which I observe similar objects and the feeling with which 
I observe a group of objects. In actual experience, how- 
ever, I seldom attend to the feeling of likeness and that of 
wholeness, as distinct from each other, but rather to the 
fused feeling of generality. 

This attempted analysis of our feeling of generality 
labors, of course, under the difficulties attending all 
merely introspective analysis of relational elements. But 
it should be observed that this account of conception is, 
in its general features, explicitly or virtually the view of 
many psychologists. Wundt definitely adopts it * by the 
expression ' characteristic concept-feeling (eigenthiimlicher 
Begriff sgef iihl) ' ; Ladd clearly implies it 2 by the state- 
ment, "the individually similar becomes the universally 
identical " ; and it is the most important teaching of James 
on this subject. He calls the "sense of sameness . . . the 
very keel and backbone of our thinking," 3 and means by 
this almost exactly what has been expressed in the state- 
ment, that the feeling of generality is the consciousness of 
the likeness of a group, or whole, of facts. 

We must now recur to the assertion that the idea of 
generality may be combined with any content of con- 
sciousness. It follows that general notions will be most 
readily classified as (i) simple, when the feeling of gen- 
erality is combined with an element of consciousness, as in 

1 Op. cit., Vol. IT., Chapter XVIL, p. 477. 

2 " Psychology, Descriptive and Explanatory," p. 434. 
8 Op. /., Vol. I., Chapter XII., p. 459. 

Classes of General Notion 223 

the concepts 'blueness,' 'loudness,' 'pleasantness,' 'one- 
ness,' and (2) complex, when the idea of anyness is com- 
bined with a combination of elements as in the concepts 
' animal,' ' fear,' ' comparison.' Such a classification sharply 
opposes a traditional view of the general notion, the doc- 
trine that generalization differs in toto from every other 
conscious experience, so that when we are generalizing we 
cannot be at the same time perceiving or imagining, and 
that conversely, when we are perceiving or imagining, we 
are not at the same time generalizing. The general 
notion, on this view of it, is, in fact, a not-sensation, a not- 
image and the like. John Locke has given a famous ex- 
ample of the absurdity to which this doctrine leads, by his 
attempt to illustrate it in the case of a concrete, complex 
concept. The general notion of a triangle, he tells us, 1 
must be the consciousness of a ' triangle neither oblique 
nor rectangle, neither equilateral nor equicrural nor scale- 
non, but all and none of these at once.' This illustration 
of a complex general notion, which is not at the same time 
an image or percept, sufficiently disposes of the theory that 
generalization is an exclusive sort of consciousness; for 
everybody realizes, with Bishop Berkeley, that it is impos- 
sible " by any effort of thought [to] conceive the . . . idea 
above described." 2 The truth is, as we have seen, that the 
generality of an experience is a supplemental feature of it, 
attaching itself as readily to a complex as to an element. 
An experience, in other words, is not debarred from being 
image or percept because it is a general notion ; rather, as 
a general notion, it is also sensation, affection, relational 
element, image or percept. Its generality or conceptual 
quality consists, indeed, merely in the addition of the ' feel- 
ing of generality ' to some element or combination. We 
have, therefore, particular experiences, described as 'the 
pink of the apple blossoms in this water color,' or as ' your 

1 " Essay concerning Human Understanding," Bk. IV., Chapter VII., 9 

2 " Principles of Human Knowledge," Introduction, 6-20. 

224 Classes of General Notion 

desk,' 'my memory of Edward Everett Hale in Faneuil 
Hall,' but we have also general sensations and images, 
such as ' Pompeian reds,' ' the sight of your desk realized 
as one of many like it,' or the general image ' orator.' 
(There are no general emotions, volitions or beliefs, for 
these, as we shall find, are intensely particularizing ex- 

Psychologists do not invariably teach that a percept, as 
well as an image, may form the groundwork of the gen- 
eral notion. A percept, to be sure, because of the nearly 
equal vividness of its parts, is less likely to become ' abstract,' 
or partially attended-to ; but it is quite conceivable that 
the shape or name or use of the perceived desk, as well 
as of the imagined one, should be attended to and supple- 
mented by the feeling of generality. This is the teaching 
of James in the chapter already quoted. 

The doctrine that generalization excludes imagination 
and perception may fairly be said to be disproved. Like 
all persistent errors, however, it is based upon an impor- 
tant truth, the observation that all general notions are 
abstract. We are thus led to discuss the nature of abstrac- 
tion. As we shall see, the subject would more consistently 
be studied under the head of ' attention,' but it is here in- 
cluded because of its close connection with generalization. 

Abstraction is simply attention, with emphasis upon the 
narrowing aspect of it. The abstract notion is thus the 
attended-to part of any complex content of consciousness. 
It may be of greater or less extent, just as attention may 
be less or more narrowing; and there may be as many 
abstract notions as there are elements of consciousness. 
The determining consideration is simply this, that the 
whole of one's experience should not be equally interest- 
ing, but that some part of it should be in a sense, shut out, 
unattended-to and uninteresting. 1 

This simple doctrine, that the abstract notion is merely 

i Cf. Chapter XI. 

Abstraction 225 

any part attended-to of a complex idea, disposes of two 
ordinary theories about it. 'Abstract,' in the first place, 
is often supposed to mean 'unsensational.' Most intelli- 
gent persons, therefore, if asked to give examples of 
abstract notions, would select some such ideas as those 
of 'identity,' 'beauty' or 'virtue,' under the impression 
that the consciousness of color or sound or smell and the 
like must be ruled out of the class of abstract notions. 
But 'blueness,' 'pleasantness,' ' four-footedness ' are as 
much abstract, that is partial experiences, as the sup- 
posedly unsensational ideas already suggested. Every 
element, sensational, attributive or relational, is, therefore, 
abstract, and every complex of elements short of a com- 
plete percept or image is also abstract. 

It is even more important to observe that an abstract 
notion is not necessarily a general notion. This conclu- 
sion is quite contrary to the ordinary assumption. Almost 
everybody, psychologist or layman, quite regardless of the 
meaning of English, uses ' abstract ' and ' general ' as 
synonymous terms. 1 But the truth is, that when I am 
conscious of ' this blueness,' ' the sweetness of this pear,' 
' the warmth of this room,' I am abstracting, that is, attend- 
ing to a part only of my total experience, yet I am not 
generalizing because my idea is of this or that element, 
not of any similar element. 

But this error, like others, is based on a truth. Though 
abstraction does not involve generalization, so that abstract 
notions are not necessarily general, yet, on the other hand, 
generalization does involve abstraction, and every general 
notion is abstract. This is a fact of common observation. 

1 Cf. Hoffding (op. cit., p. 167) : "General ideas exist, therefore, in the 
sense that we are able to concentrate the attention on certain elements of the 
individual idea." This assertion, inaccurate as it stands, would be perfectly 
correct if made about the abstract idea. The same confusion of abstraction 
with conception occurs in James's discussion of the subject, side by side with 
the adequate view of the relation, expressed in the following statement (op. 
cit., Vol. I., p. 461), "Each act of conception results from attention singling 
out some one part of the mass of matter for thought which the world presents." 

226 The General Notion as Indistinct 

My percept of my cat does not become general so long as 
I am impartially conscious of all its details, the yellow and 
white markings, the shortened tail, the slender ankles; I 
can generalize only by abstracting from these specific 
features and attending to shape, motion and furriness. 
This is simply to say that the feeling of generality, which 
turns a mere percept or image into a general notion, attaches 
itself only to abstract, not to complete and undifferentiated, 
experiences. The relation between abstract and general, 
therefore, amounts to this : the abstract, that is the at- 
tended-to, partial experience, is the larger class, including 
both the ' particular/ that is the experience known as 'this,' 
and the general, that is the experience known as ' any.' 

The general notion is primarily the percept or image 
as supplemented by a feeling of generality. A secondary 
characteristic should, however, be noticed. The general 
notion is distinguished, also, by a certain indistinctness and 
lack of intensity. Compared with the percept of a figure 
or scene, or even with an ungeneralized image, it is, as Hux- 
ley says, 1 like ' a figure seen in twilight ' or like ' the pic- 
tures thrown by a badly focussed magic lantern.' This 
indistinctness is not inconsistent with the fact, just estab- 
lished, that the feeling of generality attaches to an abstract 
or attended-to experience, for an idea which is attended-to, 
or abstract, may yet, as has been shown, be sensationally 
indistinct. 2 A slight consideration of the way in which we 
come by general notions will explain their indistinctness. 
Without undertaking in detail the discussion of the source of 
general notions, we may say at once that they are due to a 
repetition of experiences, which are similar in some respects 
and different in others. I have not the general notion 'cat,' 
until I have seen several cats, of the same general shape and 
silkiness, but widely different in size and color ; and I have 
no general notion of ' athletics,' until I have seen or played 
at many sports, alike in being forms of exercise for its own 

1 Hume, p. 112. a Cf. Chapter XI., p. 142. 

The General Notion as Indistinct 227 

sake, but differing widely in the bodily movements re- 
quired, the implements used and the costumes worn. From 
this point we may well quote again from Huxley's account 
of the matter: 

" When several complex impressions which are more or 
less different from one another let us say that out of ten 
impressions in each, six are the same in all, and four are 
different from all the rest are successively presented to 
the mind, it is easy to see what must be the nature of the 
result. The repetition of the six similar impressions will 
strengthen the six corresponding elements of the complex 
idea, which will therefore acquire greater vividness ; while 
the four differing impressions of each will not only acquire 
no greater strength than they had at first, but, in accord- 
ance with the law of association, they will all tend to 
appear at once, and thus will neutralize one another. 

"This mental operation may be rendered comprehensible 
by considering what takes place in the formation of com- 
pound photographs ; ... all those points in which the six 
faces agree are brought out strongly, while all those in 
which they differ are left vague ; and thus what may be 
termed a generic portrait of the six, in contradistinction to 
a specific portrait of any one, is produced." 

Most psychologists call attention to the fact that the 
concept or general notion lacks distinctness. Ladd calls 
it pale, less lifelike and sketchy ; Baldwin speaks of its 
vagueness and indefiniteness ; Kiilpe says that " it lacks 
definite determination"; and Wundt's idiomatic statement 
is the following, "es verliert an Anschaulichkeit." The 
tendency of associationists, like Hume and Huxley, is to 
treat this vagueness as the essential feature of the gen- 
eral notion. The difference in degree of definiteness is, 
however, an insufficient ground of distinction. We have 
many images, in drowsy revery, for example, which are 
very indistinct but which we never call general. 

Another frequent, but not invariable, characteristic of 
the general notion we may call its compositeness, if we use 

228 The General Notion as Composite 

this term to indicate the fact, that a general notion very 
often includes within itself several similar elements or com- 
binations to which, taken together, the generality-feeling 
attaches. My general notion ' dog,' may be, for instance, 
the indistinct image of a group of dogs of different shapes 
and sizes, and my general notion of ' blue ' is very likely 
an image of one blue on a background of several others. 

It might be supposed that this duplication is necessary, 
that if, for example, my consciousness of ' rose ' includes 
the feeling of generality, already analyzed into the feel- 
ings of ' likeness ' and ' wholeness,' it must include at least 
two rose-images. For it might be insisted one thing 
is always like a second, and a whole implies at least two 
parts. Of course, this is true ; yet the feeling of ' like,' 
though unquestionably due to the observation of at least 
two things, and leading to the recognition of two things, 
is not identical with the consciousness of ' two,' and 
may conceivably be present when one of the ideas which 
gave rise to it has disappeared from consciousness. The 
same assertion may be made concerning the feeling of 
' whole.' The general notion, therefore, may be, but need 
not be, ' composite.' 

This compositeness is closely related and readily con- 
fused with the final characteristic of the general notion, 
the fact that it is associative of similar ideas. It will be 
observed that this mark of the general notion, its associa- 
tiveness, is not a constituent feature but a function of it 
not a part of it, but a result of it, as it were. There can 
be no doubt that a general notion does, as a matter of 
fact, suggest a series, longer or shorter, of images of 
objects said to belong to a class. The general image 
' tool,' for example, suggests a panoramic series of axes, 
saws and hammers ; and the general notion ' rat ' is fol- 
lowed by a rapidly-shifting, imaged procession of 

" Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats, 
Brown rats, black rats, gray rats, tawny rats." 

The General Notion as Associative 229 

In this function of associating a class of similars, the 
general notion is sharply contrasted with the ungeneral- 
ized content of consciousness. My image of one particular 
volume of Montaigne is likely to associate an image of 
the odd little book-stall, on the Parisian quay, where I 
bought it, and this, in turn, may be followed by an image 
of a lecture-room in the neighboring Sorbonne, and this 
by an image of the Grecian city about which the lecturer 
spoke. The images, following upon the initial image, may 
thus be absolutely different from their starting-point and 
from each other. It is quite otherwise with the general 
notion. This is, as we know, an 'abstract,' that is, it does 
not contain the special features which make up ' my Mon- 
taigne,' and it associates a series of book-images, each 
resembling all its predecessors in the possession of certain 
common qualities. Both ' particular ' and ' general ' no- 
tions are associative, but the associates of a general notion 
are similar to each other and are known as a class or 

The study of the general notion, as associative of sim- 
ilars, introduces very naturally a question of detail, What 
sorts of general notion are most common ? In attempting 
to answer the question, we must constantly bear in mind 
that the presence of what we have called generality-feel- 
ing is the one unfailing test of the general notion. For, 
true as it is that the general notion is ordinarily ' blurred ' 
or vague, and often complex, and always associative of 
similars, yet an image with all these characteristics would 
not be ' general ' if the feeling of generality did not 

Two especially significant types of general notion have 
been pointed out by psychologists. The first of these is 
the name-idea, that is, the verbal image supplemented by 
the feeling of generality and suggestive of a series of simi- 
lar ideas. There is no doubt that every word in a language, 
exclusive of its proper nouns and its expletives, if it stands 

230 The Verbal General Notion 

for anything at all, and is not merely a set of meaningless 
sounds or scrawls, is a general term suggestive of a great 
many ideas similar to each other, at least in so far as they 
have the same name. It is easy to test this assertion. Let 
any one pronounce to himself any series of words, for 
example, the first three or four of the " yEneid." ' Arma ' 
will suggest an image-series including 'sword,' 'helmet,' 
' spear ' ; ' virum ' readily associates an imaged procession 
of Greek and Trojan heroes ; ' que ' vaguely suggests con- 
nections of several sorts ; and the word-image ' cano ' will 
be followed by the representations of various vocal activi- 
ties. What is true of these words is true of any others ; 
all words, in fact, may represent a group of like ideas, that 
is, may be suggestive of a series of similar images. But 
this, as we have seen, would not turn a verbal image into 
a general notion, and it is difficult to decide introspectively, 
in what cases a given verbal image is accompanied by the 
feeling of generality. Often, certainly, the feeling is absent 
even when the word-image performs its function of suggest- 
ing similars. I may read the word * candle,' for instance, 
and it may suggest to me a series of tapers of different shapes 
and sizes, and yet I may not be conscious of any generality- 
feeling. In this case, though the spoken or written word 
' candle ' may be called a ' general term,' the verbal image 
' candle ' is not, according to our doctrine, a ' general 
notion.' It is probable, in fact, that psychologists who 
have laid most stress on general name-ideas have confused 
these two, the general term, a word associative of similars, 
and the verbal general notion, a verbal image, not only as- 
sociative of similars, but inclusive of a certain feeling of 
generality. Such genuine verbal concepts, or general 
notions, do probably occur in our experience, though it is 
not easy to be introspectively certain about any one of 
them. For example, many unsensational general 'notions, 
such as 'truth,' 'identity,' ' tariff,' probably consist, in part 
at least, of a verbal image accompanied by the generality- 

TJie Motor General Notion 231 

A more important type of general notion is that which 
contains the idea of motor reaction. Such an idea forms 
a common feature of many images, which in other respects 
are very diverse, and it is naturally, therefore, suggestive 
of long series of similar ideas. The generalized feature of 
our notion 'chair,' for example, is not that of material, of 
color, or even of form, because no one of these is common 
to our ideas of the innumerable, widely different objects 
known as chairs. Between the Westminster Abbey coro- 
nation chair and the unsteady support provided at parlor 
lectures, there is in fact little in common except the 
characteristic motor reaction called forth by each. The 
chair is thus the ' to-be-sat-down-on,' and this imaged bodily 
reaction is probably the part of my image ' chair ' which is 
accompanied by the feeling of generality and followed by 
the series of images of throne, stuffed arm-chair, rush chair 
and milkmaid's stool very different objects, similar in this 
one respect, that they are things to be sat down on. In 
the same way, foods differ in every conceivable particular 
of color, form and consistency, but agree in calling forth a 
common system of bodily movements. The generalized 
feature of the general notion, food, is thus the image of it 
as the 'to-be-eaten.' In the same way, the pen is the 
' to-be-written-with,' the flower is the ' to-be-smelled ' or 
' to-be-picked,' the hat is the ' to-be-put-on-one's-head.' 

An interesting proof that the idea of our motor reactions 
is a significant feature of the general notion is found in the 
fact that we commonly suppose ourselves not to ' know ' 
objects, that is, to be incapable of generalizing and classi- 
fying them, when we do not know what to do with them, 
in other words, when they involve no imaged motor reac- 
tion. Somebody shows me an oddly shaped stone and I 
exclaim, " I don't know what it is." But all the time I am 
perfectly aware that it is irregular in shape, gray in color, 
cold to the touch. I know many things about it, but I 
don't know what to do with it, and I, therefore, have no 
general notion of it until some one tells me that it is a pre- 

232 The Motor General Notion 

historic battle-axe. At once, the image of attacking move- 
ments becomes part of my consciousness of the bit of stone, 
and is accompanied by a feeling of generality and followed 
by a series of imaged weapons, very different in most re- 
spects from this bit of stone, yet similar to it because includ- 
ing the notion of movements of attack. Such a general 
notion is, in the words of Professor Royce, ' an idea of the 
way to do that.' Careful consideration of the actual mean- 
ing of most of our general notions of concrete objects will 
show that they are of this type. The concrete thing means 
to us what we do with it, and our general notion of it is 
an image of our reaction to it, supplemented by the feeling 
of generality, and actually followed, as is later discovered, 
by a series of similar ideas. 

It is not, however, true, as some psychologists imply, 1 
that this is the only type of general notion. The idea of 
motor reaction surely forms no distinguishing part of our 
unsensational, general notions. No common motor reac- 
tion, for example, characterizes all forms of ' cause ' or of 
'science.' The consideration of these two historically 
important forms of general notion brings us, in fact, to the 
conclusion that there is no element or complex of con- 
sciousness, sensational, attributive or relational, verbal or 
concrete, which may not be attended by the feeling of 
generality, and which may not become, by virtue of this 
accompaniment, a general notion. In the general notion of a 
concrete percept, this generality-feeling often indeed supple- 
ments the idea of a common motor reaction; in an elemental 
general notion, such as redness, it may either be directly 
attached to the element, or to the verbal image, ' redness ' ; 
in an affective concept, it is probably combined, not merely 
with a verbal image, but with a weak throb of the affection 
itself. In all forms of concept, the perceptual or image 
experience is usually vague, and is followed by a series of 
similar images. The similarity of these images consists in 

1 Cf. Baldwin, op. cit., pp. 325 set?., and Royce, as quoted by Baldwin. 

The 'Function' Theory 233 

their common possession of the generalized feature, motor 
idea, sense-element or affection. 

The relational experience of generality, which alone dis- 
tinguishes the general notion from the elements and ideas 
already discussed, has, of course, no regular physical stim- 
ulus. Our incomplete knowledge of cerebral conditions 
forbids, also, the attempt to describe exactly its intra- 
cortical excitation. In general, we may say that the feeling 
of generality is conditioned by the activity of connecting 
fibres and probably also of cells in the 'association- 

There is another theory of the general notion, so consis- 
tent and so plausible that it must be briefly outlined. It 
is virtually the doctrine of the scholastic nominalists and 
of English associationists, but the clearest statement of 
it, known to the writer, is that of Dr. Dickinson Miller. 1 
According to this theory, the ' generality ' of an experience 
consists simply in the fact, so often noticed, that it asso- 
ciates similar images. In other words, this theory denies 
the existence of any * feeling of generality,' and holds that 
generality is not a constituent of the particular content of 
consciousness, but a function of it. As immediately ex- 
perienced, the general notion is not, on this view, different 
from any other, but it proves to have suggested similar 
images, instead of diverse ones, and it is called ' general ' 
therefore, not for what it is, but for what it does. 

The positive part of this doctrine is, of course, indisputa- 
ble. General notions are, as we have over and over again 
discovered, suggestive of similar ideas. The negative 
teaching, that the general notion is distinct in function 
only, and that it has no peculiar consciousness character- 
istic of it, contradicts, in the opinion of the writer, the 
plain witness of introspection to a distinct feeling of 

1 Ptychological Review, Vol. II., pp. 537 stq. 



LIKE conception or generalization, judgment is a com- 
plex consciousness distinguished by the presence of an 
untemporal, relational experience, the feeling of wholeness. 
This consciousness of ' whole ' is accompanied by a dis- 
crimination of parts within a whole. Judging is, there- 
fore, the shared consciousness of a whole, with especial 
attention to one or more of its parts ; and 'a judgment' is 
a complex of elements of consciousness, containing one or 
more emphasized parts, and yet realized as a whole. A 
judgment, like a general notion, is, therefore, a percept or 
image plus a relational experience, in this case, the feeling 
of wholeness. It is, of course, useless to attempt a close 
description of the cerebral conditions of judgment. Exci- 
tation of connecting fibres and of cells in ' association- 
centres ' probably, however, occurs. 

Let us first try to make clear to ourselves the shifting 
distinction between the judgment and the mere percept 
or image. I look off at a gray church spire, half a mile 
below me, and have a consciousness of grayness, form, 
roughness, oneness and limitedness. I do not reflect upon 
this experience nor analyze it ; and no one part of it gray- 
ness or tapering height impresses me more than another. 
So far, then, this experience is a mere percept. But now, 
for some reason, the grayness of the spire draws my atten- 
tion ; I lay little stress on its form, but I am interested in 
its color, in other words, I have an ' abstract notion ' of 


The Nature of the Judgment 235 

the color. Finally, however, I am conscious of the gray- 
ness as a part of the spire, as belonging to it, as forming 
with its shape and other features one whole ; and now for 
the first time I am judging, conscious of a complex as a 
whole inclusive of an emphasized part. Perception and 
judgment alike are distinguished, first, from the abstract 
notion by their complexity, and second, from the total 
sensational complex by their limitedness. But judgment 
is distinguished from perception by the added feeling of 
wholeness, and by the invariable emphasis of some part 
within its total. The three sorts of experience, percept, 
abstract notion, judgment, may be represented in words, 
by the expressions 'gray spire/ 'grayness,' * the spire is 
gray.' The propositional form of the last clause is an 
indication of both aspects of the judgment, the feeling of 
wholeness and the attention to one part. 

There are two basal types of judgment: we shall call 
them ' analytic ' and ' synthetic.' They differ in the manner 
of their formation, not in their essential nature ; that is to 
say, they are distinguished genetically, not analytically. 
Our church spire example is an illustration of the analytic 
judgment, which is formed by the persisting vividness of 
one part of any complex experience, supplemented, of 
course, by the feeling of its connection with the other parts 
in a ' whole.' Any object or scene which is thought of as 
a whole of discriminated parts is, therefore, a judgment; 
and it is probably true, that most of the undifferentiated 
percepts and images of a child's consciousness are later 
replaced by analytic judgments. 'The birch leaves are 
yellow,' ' the whale is a mammal,' ' Europe includes Ger- 
many,' are propositions which represent these analytic 
judgments (unless, indeed, they stand for mere percepts, 
and mean no more than the expressions 'yellow leaves,' 
' mammalian whale,' ' European Germany '). From Pro- 
fessor Titchener, 1 we may quote several examples of these 

1 " Outline of Psychology," 54. 

236 Analytic Judgments 

analytic judgments, and the way in which they are formed. 
"The best illustration," he says, "is the connection of 
auditory ideas in the sentence. The whole ' thought,' i.e. 
complex of ideas, which the sentence expresses must form 
part of our consciousness, however vaguely, before we 
begin to speak, otherwise we could not carry the sentence 
to its conclusion without hesitation and mistake." "Sup- 
pose," he continues, "that I say to myself: 'That chord 
contains the notes C, E, G.' The chord is given as a total 
impression ; it is a complex of simultaneously sounding 
tones. But the attention fixes for some reason upon one 
of the constituent tone-complexes, the note C. This is 
rendered prominent and distinct, while the remaining con- 
stituents are blurred and weakened. The impression is 
thus split up, its components dissociated. The attention 
soon relaxes from its first object, and the other two notes 
receive, in turn, their share of notice. The whole complex 
is thus reviewed, part by part, and put together again in 
the sentence : ' It contained the notes C, E, G.' " 

It should be added that Titchener replaces our term ' ana- 
lytic judgment ' by the expression 'association after disjunc- 
tion,' and that he makes no mention at all of the class of 
synthetic judgments. A more serious difference is his 
neglect of the distinguishing feature of the judgment, its 
'feeling of wholeness.' It is noteworthy, however, that 
he suggests the wholeness-feeling by the observation that 
the judgment has the 'character of completeness or final- 
ity.' This definition of judgment as association overlooks 
the fact, already emphasized, 1 that association is an objec- 
tive synthesis of ideas, that is, a connection on which one 
later reflects, not a unity of which one is immediately con- 
scious. But judgment and reasoning are characterized by 
precisely this immediate consciousness of unity. Associa- 
tion, or the after reflection on connection, cannot, there- 
fore, be identical with judgment, or the intimate feeling of 

1 Cf. Chapter XIII., p. 157. 

Abstract and Concrete Judgments 237 

wholeness ; and, indeed, association may occur when judg- 
ment, in this sense, is absent. For example, the ideas 
whose combination is indicated by the proposition ' heat is 
a form of motion ' may be merely associated, that is, they 
may be later observed to be connected ; but such associa- 
tion is utterly different from the immediate feeling of 
wholeness which distinguishes the judgment. 

Within the class of analytic judgments, we may further 
distinguish the abstract from the concrete. It will be no- 
ticed that the third of our illustrations, at the end of page 
235, is different from the others, in the completeness and 
independence of its discriminated part. That is to say, the 
image of ' Germany ' may occur without that of ' Europe,' 
whereas the consciousness of * yellow ' always forms a part 
of another complete whole of 'leaf or 'wall' or 'gown'; 
and in the same way the idea ' mammal,' though more com- 
plex than the sensation ' yellow/ is present to conscious- 
ness only as constituent of some larger idea, as ' whale ' or 
1 cow ' or ' human being.' Judgments, in which the discrim- 
inated feature occurs only as part of a larger content, are 
called 'abstract'; judgments in which the discriminated 
parts are conceivably independent are named ' concrete.' 

Contrasted with the whole class of analytic judgments, 
whether abstract or concrete, is the second fundamental class, 
that of synthetic judgments. This type of judgments may 
be illustrated in the most diverse ways. ' Napoleon burnt 
Moscow,' ' Browning played the organ,' are clear examples 
of it; 'platinum is ductile,' or 'some water-lilies are pink,' 
are less obvious instances. The distinction is the following : 
an analytic judgment is formed, as we have seen, by the 
emphasis of part of an undifferentiated, though limited, 
complex ; it therefore involves nothing new except the 
feeling of wholeness. A synthetic judgment, on the other 
hand, arises by the association of new facts of conscious- 
ness to the fact already present ; and old and new are then 
regarded as parts of a whole. In other words, a percept 
or image, gained by the association of one fact of conscious- 

238 Synthetic Judgments 

ness with another, is supplemented by a feeling of whole- 
ness, and forms, thus, a synthetic judgment. The synthetic 
judgment is, therefore, a judgment of discovery. It differs 
from the analytic judgment only in the manner of forma- 
tion, not in nature, for, in both cases, the judgment is con- 
stituted by the included 'feeling of wholeness.' 

The synthetic judgment, also, has the two classes, ' ab- 
stract* and ' concrete.' There is, however, no way of indi- 
cating by words the difference between an analytic and a 
synthetic, abstract judgment. To recur to one of our ex- 
amples : 'platinum is ductile' is a synthetic judgment 
only to the person whose concept of platinum does not 
already include the idea of ductility. In this case, the idea 
of ductility is added to one's initial image of a light, silvery 
metal, to form one complete total-image of platinum as a 
light, silvery, ductile metal. Only introspection can decide, 
in any special case, whether an abstract judgment is analytic 
or synthetic. 

The terms ' analytic ' and ' synthetic ' are Kant's, and his 
use of them, from the standpoint of psychology, is sim- 
ilar to ours. It should be observed that the expressions 
cannot be replaced by the words ' discriminative ' and ' asso- 
ciative,' since even in an analytic judgment there is associ- 
ation, that of discriminated part with whole, and even in 
a synthetic judgment there is discrimination, that of the rel- 
atively independent part in a whole. For illustration of the 
use of the term ' abstract,' in the sense ' incomplete ' ana 
in contrast with ' concrete,' that is, 'relatively complete' or 
' self-sufficient,' we may refer to certain statements of James. 1 

It should be added that a judgment may conceivably 
include more than one emphasized part. Since, however, 
our attention is very limited, it is probable that the greater 
number of judgments include, psychologically as well as 
logically, but a single predicate. The experience, for 
instance, expressed by the sentence, ' McKinley stands 

1 Cf. especially op. '/., Vol. II., p. 337. 

Propositions 239 

for imperialism and sound money,' though expressed in 
a single proposition, is, for most of us, two judgments, in 
which the feeling of wholeness attaches successively to the 
complexes ' McKinley sound money,' and, ' McKinley 
imperialism.' This suggests once more the important 
truth that the proposition is a mere form of words, subject 
and predicate, and that it may as well express a series 
of associated images as a judgment. When the French 
soldiers and Napoleon first realized that 'the Russians 
burned Moscow,' the experience probably was a judg- 
ment, that is to say, the feeling of the event as a whole 
of distinguished parts was presumably present to them. 
But the words, as we repeat them, may stand to us for a 
mere succession of images, verbal or concrete. 

An important instance of a proposition which does not 
express a judgment is the so-called negative judgment, 
" No cats are two-legged," or, " No Frenchmen are Teu- 
tons." These are negative propositions, but the expe- 
riences for which they stand involve the relational feeling 
of exclusion, not the feeling of wholeness ; psychologically, 
therefore, they are quite distinct from judgments. But 
though a negative proposition does not express a judg- 
ment, it undoubtedly implies a judgment. One must have 
the consciousness of a whole before one can think of any- 
thing as excluded from that whole, and the negative propo- 
sition is essentially, as we have seen, the assertion of a 
feeling of exclusion. 

We must notice, in conclusion, that many psychologists 
regard judgment as identical with belief. This belief- 
theory is first found in Aristotle's observation that only 
propositions, never mere terms, can be true or false. In 
modern times, Brentano 1 coordinates judgment with will 
and perceiving, as fundamental activities of conscious- 
ness ; and Stout adopts the same view, 2 defining judgment 
as the 'yes no' experience, and treating it as a distinct 

1 " Psychologic," Chapter VII. 

2 " Analytic Psychology," Vol. I., pp. 97, 99. 

240 Judgment and Belief 

attitude of consciousness. Traces of this doctrine are 
found in many other modern discussions of judgment. 
The theory is really founded on a confusion of judgment 
with proposition. For the proposition-form of words is 
often used to express, not a judgment, but a belief, as in 
the asseveration, 'This music is wretched.' But a judg- 
ment, a conscious experience, is not identical with a propo- 
sition, a form of words; and this use of the term ' judg- 
ment,' as synonym for the unobjectionable word 'belief,' 
leaves unnamed the characteristic experience of whole- 
ness. It seems wisest, therefore, to content ourselves with 
one name for ' belief,' and thus to leave the term judgment 
as name for the consciousness of a whole. 


Judging is best known in the form of reasoning. We 
seldom reflect upon the single judgment, the mere con- 
sciousness of discriminated wholeness in our immediate 
perception and imagination, but we notice the continuous 
judging which we call reasoning. A reasoning, or a 
demonstration, is a succession of judgments, so related 
that the ideas combined, in the realized whole of the final 
judgment (or conclusion), have already been combined, in 
the preceding judgments, with another idea or with several 
others, which do not form an emphasized part of the con- 
clusion. We may illustrate this definition by any instance 
of reasoning. Suppose, for example, a succession of 
experiences, describable by the following propositions : 

This drawer will not open. 

This drawer which will not open has a loose handle. 

The looseness of the handle lessens the force of my pull. 

A lessened pull keeps the drawer from opening. 

Here, the first judgment is the consciousness of the 
drawer as a whole, with emphasis on the fact that it will 
not open. The second judgment follows upon the accent- 

The Nature of Reasoning 241 

uation of still another feature of the experience, the 
loosened handle, and consists in the consciousness of the 
drawer, a realized whole, with this part of it especially 
vivid. In the third judgment, most parts of the drawer- 
percept are unattended to, but the consciousness of the 
loosened handle is very vivid, and is supplemented by a 
new idea, the consciousness of a diminished pull, with 
which it forms a conscious whole. Finally, in the conclu- 
sion, the idea of the handle loses its vividness or even fades 
away utterly, but the two ideas successively connected 
with it, (i) that of the sticking drawer and (2) that of the 
weakened pull, are vivid and are realized as discriminated 
parts of a whole. Thus, the concluding judgment is the 
realized connection of the terms of two preceding judg- 
ments ; each of these terms was previously connected with 
a third term, now unemphasized ; and the whole experience 
is properly called reasoning or ' mediate judgment.' 

Reasoning, it must be observed, may consist of all types 
of judgment in all sorts of combinations. The judgments 
which it includes may be analytic or synthetic, abstract or 
concrete. In our example, for instance, the first and 
second and fourth are analytic judgments, due to the em- 
phasis of ideas already present, but the third is, or may be, 
synthetic, that is to say, the consciousness of my pull may 
have been added, instead of being present from the be- 
ginning. The following argument, on the other hand, 
probably consists throughout of 'analytic' judgments, in 
other words, the conclusion is gained by mere reflection on 
the judgment with which we start, and includes no abso- 
lutely new features : 

These boots are very heavy. 
Very heavy boots are durable. 
These boots are durable. 

Here the idea of durability is probably present through- 
out, though it does not become vivid until after the idea of 
the heavy material has been emphasized. 

242 Synthetic Reasoning 

This last illustration is an instance, also, of abstract 
reasoning, that is to say, the emphasized parts of the suc- 
cessive judgments, heaviness and durability, are qualities 
of objects and not regarded singly, or by themselves. But 
many examples of reasoning have to do with perfectly 
concrete experiences. The following example illustrates 
this concrete reasoning : 

The Athenians claimed jurisdiction over Delos. 

Delos contained the treasure of the allies. 

The Athenians claimed jurisdiction over the treasure. 

In this succession of judgments, there are evidently no 
abstract terms except the ideas of ' claiming jurisdiction ' 
and of ' containing ' ; the other ideas of ' Delos ' and 
' treasure ' are concretes, added successively and form- 
ing part of the final whole, 'Athenians claiming juris- 
diction over treasure in Delos.' 

It has thus been shown by our illustrations, that what we 
know as reasoning is, indeed, mediate judging, that is, a 
consciousness of the wholeness of discriminated experi- 
ences, previously connected with one or more ' suppressed ' 
ideas. We have made clear to ourselves, also, that the 
connected judgments may be of any type. In spite of all 
this variety, however, only two forms of reasoning need be 
specially considered. These are first, ' purely synthetic 
reasoning,' in which every judgment is gained by th? 
association of a new idea to the unanalyzed idea with 
which one starts. It is hard to give a plausible example, 
for effective reasoning is never of this type. A random 
instance is, however, the following : 

Stephen Phillips wrote ' Herod.' 

' Herod ' was published by John Lane. 

Stephen Phillips's publisher is John Lane. 

It is obvious that such reasoning seldom, if ever, occurs, 
and that it is useless at the best ; one would be likely, for 

Analytic Reasoning 243 

example, to think of the publisher without the intermediate 
idea of the book ; and such immediate association would be 
better, if only because swifter, than the mediate reasoning 
process, which requires at least three such associations. 
If there were, in fact, no type of reasoning except the 
' purely synthetic,' composed by association without analy- 
sis, then reasoning would be nothing less than a peculiarly 
toilsome way of attaining results, which might be reached 
at a bound, by immediate association. 

There is, however, a second form of reasoning, the 
analytic, of so much greater significance, that psychol- 
ogists usually treat of it to the exclusion of synthetic 
reasoning. 1 It consists of the following order of judg- 
ments : there is, first, an analytic judgment, in which 
some one feature of an idea is singled out and brought to 
the foreground of attention ; second, a synthetic or supple- 
menting judgment, which adds a previously unthought-of 
idea to the emphasized part of the first judgment; and 
then, finally, the combination of the initial, originally un- 
amilyzed idea with this new feature. Analytic reasoning 
may thus be defined, in the words which James applies to 
reasoning in general, as * the substitution of parts and their 
implications or consequences, for wholes/ One concerns 
oneself, for example, with the question of Porto Rican tax- 
ation. One's idea of Porto Rico is highly complex and 
very vague ; it includes visual images of tropical scenes 
and images, largely verbal, of economic conditions. If any 
conclusion is to be reached, it must be, therefore, by the 
emphasis of some one feature of the complex idea, Porto 
Rico its connection, let us say, with the United States. 
" Porto Rico," one observes, "is a United States territory." 
At once, this simpler idea, 'United States territory,' sug- 
gests, what the more complex one had failed to do, the idea 
of exemption from import duty on United States prod- 
ucts; and, finally, this idea of exemption is added to the 

1 Cf. James, op, cit. ; Titchener, op. cit. 

244 Analytic Reasoning 

idea of Porto Rico, with which one started, and is realized 
as forming with it a whole. So one has, as expression of 
this reasoning, the syllogism : 

Porto Rico is a territory of the United States. 

Territories of the United States should be exempt from 

import duty on United States products. 
Porto Rico should be exempt from import duty. 

The peculiar value of reasoning is thus, as James has 
said, its ability to 'deal with novel data' and to discover 
the functions and possibilities of new situations and objects. 
It attains this end by means of the analysis involved in 
its first judgment. For this judgment, since it is analytic, 
emphasizes a quality or an attribute within a whole object 
or situation ; and, because this discriminated part is less 
complex than the total in which it belongs, it has fewer 
possible consequences ; and, because it has certain definite 
consequences, it is likelier than a more complex experience 
to form the nucleus of a second judgment. When, for 
example, I judge that a certain mosslike substance is 
'animal/ not 'vegetable,' that is, when I emphasize its 
animality as contrasted with its other features, I readily 
reach conclusions about it, impossible by mere observation 
of it as a whole. ' Animal ' at once suggests to me all the 
properties, irritability, motivity and sensitivity, which dis- 
tinguish animal life. So, if I analyze my neighbor's atti- 
tude and judge that his reserve includes deep shyness, I 
may correctly infer the further consequences of this as yet 
unsuspected characteristic. All this is clearly taught by 
James. 1 " Whereas the merely empirical thinker," he says, 
"stares at a fact in its entirety and remains helpless or 
gets ' stuck ' if it suggests no concomitant or similar, the 
analytic reasoner breaks it up and notices some one of its 
separate attributes. This attribute he takes to be the 
essential part of the whole fact before him. This attribute 

i Op. tit., p. 330. 

Analytic Reasoning 245 

has properties or consequences which the fact, until then, 
was not known to have, but which, now that it is noticed to 
contain the attribute it must have. . . . The art of the ana- 
lytic reasoner will consist of two stages: first, sagacity, or the 
ability to discover what part, M, lies embedded in the whole, 
S, before him ; second, learning, or the ability to recall 
promptly M's consequences, concomitants, or implications." 
This study of analytic reasoning enables us to under- 
stand why thinkers of all schools and all ages have laid 
such stress on reasoning. For, beginning back at least 
with Aristotle, who defined man as a reasoning animal, 
reasoning ability has been assumed as a fundamental char- 
acter of effective thought. Purely synthetic reasoning does 
not, as we have seen, live up to this reputation, but certain 
definite values can be assigned to analytic reasoning. It 
is significant, in the first place, because it widens our 
knowledge, enabling us to reach, by means of a judgment 
already formed, a result which would not have been imme- 
diately suggested. John Locke has well set forth this 
function of reasoning. "When the mind," he says, "can- 
not so bring its ideas together as by their immediate com- 
parison, and as it were juxtaposition or application one to 
another, to perceive their agreement or disagreement, it is 
fain, by the intervention of other ideas (one or more, as it 
happens) to discover the agreement or disagreement for 
which it searches ; and this is that which we call reason- 
ing. Thus the mind, being willing to know the agreement 
or disagreement in bigness between the three angles of a 
triangle and two right ones, cannot by an immediate view 
and comparing them do it ; because the three angles of a 
triangle cannot be brought at once and be compared with 
any one or two angles ; and so of this the mind has no 
immediate, no intuitive, knowledge. In this case the mind 
is fain to find out some other angles, to which the three 
angles of a triangle have an equality ; and finding those 
equal to two right ones, comes to know their equality to 
two right ones." 

246 Immediate Judgments 

It must, however, be admitted that analytic reasoning is 
not the only method, though the usual one, of enabling us 
to reach new results. For it is always possible that imme- 
diate judgment may replace even analytic reasoning in any 
given case. One man may gain by a flash of intuition 
the same result which another attains only by the closest 
reasoning; and the bare result is as valuable in the one 
case as in the other. There is thus a kernel of truth in 
the observation of a modern character in fiction, " that if 
you reason a thing out, you're always wrong, and if you 
never reason about it at all, you're always right." Few of 
us would admit this, yet it certainly is true that one some- 
times is wrong when one reasons and sometimes is right in 
unreasoned judgments, and that one sometimes reaches, 
without analysis and reasoning, correct results in compli- 
cated problems. But granting that the mediate method of 
analytic reasoning is not the only way of attaining the 
adequate solution, there still remain several unassailable 
advantages with the analytic reasoner. His results, in the 
first place, are readily repeated. Intuitions, that is, imme- 
diate judgments or mere associations, occur we know not 
how ; and we cannot reproduce them at will. The result 
which a man has reached by an unexplained association, 
once forgotten, is beyond his voluntary control. On the 
other hand, he can repeat at will the reasoning founded 
on close analysis. A student has forgotten, let us say, 
the accusative singular of the Greek word, e'XTrtV. He 
remembers, however, the reasoning process by which he 
first fixed in his mind the fact, that third declension nouns 
in -t?, when accented on the last syllable, have the length- 
ened accusative, to avoid the abrupt stop. Thus the 
accusative eA/7rt3a, forgotten in itself, is remembered as one 
link in a chain of reasoning. In the same way, one can 
repeat a geometrical demonstration, though one has for- 
gotten it, by beginning with the close analysis of the 
figure ; one can recover the lost date, by reasoning from 
one of the facts associated with it, by arguing, for example, 

Advantages of Reasoning 247 

that, since crossbows were used in the battle, the period 
must antedate the discovery of gunpowder. It behooves, 
therefore, even the person of quick intuition and of ready 
memory to train his reasoning power. The flash of 
inspiration may be more brilliant, but is surely far less 
steady, than the light of reason. The Aladdin role in the 
mental life is no sustained part ; the genius which appears 
at one's first bidding may well forbear to come at a second 
summons. In plain English, the power to analyze and to 
reason is relatively stable, whereas unreasoned association 
is capricious and untrustworthy. It is, therefore, the part 
of wisdom to secure a reasoned theology or scientific system 
or practical philosophy, precisely because one thus has the 
chance to review and to recall it. 

This suggests another advantage of reasoning over 
immediate association : the opportunity which it offers to 
the candid person to revise and to amend his results. 
The most dogmatic and unyielding of individuals is the 
man who has jumped at his conclusions. He is naturally 
tenacious of them, because he has no idea how he came by 
them and no hope of gaining any others if he lets them 
go. So the most ardent sectarian is the one who doesn't 
know the rats on d'etre of his own sect, and the most zeal- 
ous political partisan can give you no reason for his vote 
beyond the utterance of a talismanic name or symbol. 
It would be too much, of course, to claim, for the other 
side, that every reasoning person is open-minded ; but it 
is quite fair to say that only persons who reason are open- 
minded. For nobody can revise his decision who cannot 
review it, and, as we have shown, one can only accept 
without question one's immediate conclusions, and can only 
review one's results by retracing the steps of deliberate 

The reasoner has, finally, still another unique advantage. 
He can share his results with other people. The lucky 
man who guesses correctly may be brilliant and inspiring, 
but he cannot well be convincing. He may be absolutely 

248 Psychology and Logic 

sure that one presidential candidate is far and away 
ahead of another, or that Thackeray is greater than 
Dickens, or that the lyric is the highest form of poetic 
art ; he can even temporarily impose his enthusiastic beliefs 
on other people, but he cannot work permanent change in 
their convictions. We are constantly hearing that argu- 
ment is useless, and its futility in many cases must be 
admitted; yet it certainly is the only method by which 
one can effectively share one's intellectual convictions. 

The student of logic has noticed, throughout the dis- 
cussion of judgment and reasoning, the divergences of the 
psychological from the logical treatment of the subject. 
The differences are inherent in the nature of logic and of 
psychology. In the first place, logic distinguishes valid 
from invalid reasoning, whereas psychology has to do with 
the nature of reasoning, correct or incorrect ; logic, in other 
words, is a normative science, whereas psychology is an 
analytic science. To the logician, for example, the follow- 
ing series is no syllogism : 

Many Frenchmen are fickle. 
Jacques Bonhomme is a Frenchman. 
Therefore Jacques Bonhomme is fickle. 

The logician points out the fallacy in this argument and 
excludes it from consideration, but the psychologist recog- 
nizes it as a genuine case of reasoning and mediate judg- 
ment. From certain specific rules of formal logic, the 
psychologist has also cut loose : the conventional require- 
ment, of exactly two terms in a proposition and exactly 
three propositions in a syllogism, is an artificial abbrevia- 
tion of the powers of analytic and synthetic judgment, 
and its only justification is the observation of the limited 
range of attention. 

A brief consideration of language as related to thought 
will conclude this chapter. The nature and origin of 

Language and Thought 249 

language will later be discussed in more detail, 1 but our 
present problem is urged upon us by certain thinkers, 
notably by Max M tiller, who insist that thought is im- 
possible without language, that language and thought are, 
in fact, two sides merely of the same phenomenon. Now, 
this theory is certainly based on a very ordinary experi- 
ence. When we catch ourselves in the act of reasoning, 
we do usually find that we are imagining sub silentio the 
words of our argument; and in generalizing, also, the 
verbal image is very apt to form the centre of our con- 
cepts, so that, for instance, the general notion 'dog' is 
apt to include the verbal image ' dog/ But beyond this 
assertion of the frequent occurrence, in our thinking, of 
verbal images, we have no right to go. Language, as we 
know, is a system of signs, composed of certain images, 
usually auditory, motor or visual. Thinking, on the other 
hand, necessarily includes a consciousness of untemporal 
unity. It is absurd to assert that this feeling of unity is 
absolutely dependent on one's possession of any specific 
set of images. 

Certain experiences of the deaf and dumb furnish inter- 
esting testimony on exactly this point. D'Estrella, an 
educated deaf-mute, has given a detailed account of his 
moral and theological reasoning in the very early years of 
his neglected childhood. 2 He had never attended school, 
knew nothing of the conventional gesture-language, and 
possessed, in fact, only a few rude signs, none of them 
standing for abstract ideas. Yet, during this time, he not 
only gained a belief that the moon is a person, a con- 
clusion carefully reasoned from facts of the moon's motion 
and regular appearance, but, by meditating on other 
nature-facts, he found for himself a god, a Strong Man 
behind the hills, who threw the sun up into the sky as 
boys throw fireballs, who puffed the clouds from his pipe, 

1 Cf. Appendix, Bibliography. 

a James, Philosophical Review, Vol. I., pp. 613 seq. 

250 Language and Thought 

and who showed his passion by sending forth the wind. 
Mr. Ballard, another deaf-mute, describes a parallel experi- 
ence, 1 his meditation "some two or three years before . . . 
initiation into the rudiments of written language," on " the 
question, How came the world into being?" Testimony 
of this sort, though of course it may be criticised as in- 
volving the memory of long-past experiences, confirms the 
antecedent probability that thinking may be carried on 
in any terms concrete as well as verbal. Whenever 
one is conscious of an image, verbal or concrete, as iden- 
tical in a group of more complex experiences, then one is 
generalizing. The generalized image, as we have seen, 
is often that of a word, but it is often, also, that of a motor 
adjustment, and it need not be either. Whenever one is 
conscious of the wholeness of a complex, with emphasized 
part, then one is judging. The judgment often includes 
an imaged proposition, but does not necessarily contain it. 
Whenever, finally, one is conscious of successive discrim- 
inated wholes, one reasons. Reasoning, to be sure, more 
often than conceiving or judging, has a verbal accompani- 
ment, yet reasoning also may be carried on without words. 
Conversely, the use of the general term, proposition or 
syllogism is no sure indication of judging or reasoning. 
For these forms of word-series have become so habitual, 
that one may use them without full realization of their 
meaning. For example, the proposition, " the apple is 
yellow," may not mean more to the man who speaks it 
than the words 'yellow apple,' that is to say, no judgment 
at all, no idea of differentiated wholeness, need be in- 
volved ; and the prepositional form of the words may be 
a mere unconscious reflex, due to habit. Evidently, there- 
fore, the psychologist must be on his guard against the 
false supposition, that wherever proposition or syllogism 
is, there also is judgment or reasoning. He, of all men, 
must be alive to the possibility, that words do not always 

1 James, " Psychology," Vol. I., pp. 266 seq. 

Language and Thought 251 

reveal, or even conceal, any ' thought within,' but that they 
may be used without any meaning, for mere pleasure in 
their liquid syllables, their rotund vowels, their emotional 
impressiveness. In a prattling and babbling age which 
rolls polysyllables like sweet morsels under the tongue, 
the psychologist must practise himself heroically in the 
task of abjuring language for its own sake. 


As there are two ways of regarding perception, imagina- 
tion and thought, so, also, there are two possible theories 
of recognition. It may be described, in the first place, 
without reference to any recognizing self, as the occurrence 
of ' recognized,' that is, of familiar percepts and images. 
From this point of view, the discussion resolves itself in 
the main to a study of the nature of the feeling of famili- 
arity. Such a study will form the second division of this 

But recognition ordinarily means far more to us than the 
bare occurrence of familiar facts. It is the consciousness 
of myself, ' the constantly presupposed, central, individual 
self of everyday life,' in its relation to familiar past facts, 
psychical and physical. These facts are not impersonally 
and unattachedly familiar ; they are familiar to me and I 
recognize them, I remember them, I attach them to my- 
self, I claim them, I hold them. This essentially personal 
character of recognition (or memory, as it is often named) 
is admitted by most psychologists, and forms the basis of 
many philosophical theories. "What is memory?" John 
Stuart Mill asks. 1 " It is not merely having the idea of 
[a] fact recalled. It is having the idea recalled along 
with the belief that the fact, which it is idea of, really hap- 
pened . . . and . . . to myself . Memory implies an Ego who 
formerly experienced the facts remembered, arid who was 

1 Note 33 to Vol. II., Chapter XIV., 7, of James Mill's "Analysis of the 
Phenomena of the Human Mind." 


Recognition 253 

the same Ego then as now. The phenomenon of self and 
that of memory are merely two sides of the same." David 
Hume expresses the same relation in his statement that 
" memory is to be considered as the source of personal iden- 
tity." l We are not now concerned with the philosophy of 
self, as it is held by Mill and by Hume and implied in these 
assertions, but simply with their psychological teaching of 
the close relation between remembering and the conscious- 
ness of self. Traces of the same view will be found, indeed, 
in writings more definitely psychological. Wundt, for 
instance, calls attention 2 to the fact that supplementary 
associations in recognition " belong to a group of con- 
scious complexes, with which self-consciousness is in- 
grown "; and James defines memory 3 as " knowledge of 
an event or fact . . . with the additional consciousness that 
we have thought or experienced it before." 

The nature of recognition as self-consciousness may be 
briefly considered. It is like perception, thought and 
imagination, in that it is a relatively passive experience. 4 
It is different from them all in its greater emphasis on the 
self which experiences. I may almost lose myself in my 
absorbed perception or imagination of some scene or object, 
but I cannot recognize without being the more vividly 
conscious of myself and of the recognized object or scene 
as related to me. Recognition, moreover, may be either 
like perception and thought, or like imagination, in its 
reference to other selves. I need not be immediately 
conscious of other people as sharing the familiarity 
of an experience, but, on the other hand, my sense of 
familiarity may take in a consciousness of other selves. 
In other words, one's memory-world is both, like one's 
revery-world, a private domain of feelings all one's own, 
and it is also a public world of communicable experiences. 

This consciousness of other selves, however, like that of 

1 "Treatise," Bk. I., Pt. IV., 6. 

2 " Physiologische Psychologic," 4te Aufl., II., p. 489. 

Op. cit. t Vol. L, p. 648. * Cf. Chapter XXI., p. 306, 

254 Recognition 

thought and perception, is relatively indirect. As we shall 
see, direct relations to people are those of emotion, will and 
faith : we always love or hate them, subordinate or follow 
them, compel or yield allegiance. 1 When, therefore, we 
speak of recognizing people, we really mean that we recog- 
nize their names or their faces ; and this recognition is 
merely a factor of our directly personal relation to them. 
But recognizing, viewed as personal attitude, no less than 
as recognized idea, includes, as characteristic element, the 
feeling of familiarity. The close description and classifi- 
cation of recognition as complex experience is, in great 
part, therefore, an analysis of this familiarity-consciousness. 


Recognition, from whatever point of view we regard it, 
is of two main types. It is either perception or imagina- 
tion, combined with the feeling of familiarity ; in other 
words, either a percept or an image may be recognized. For 
example, one recognizes the man whom one meets, face to 
face on the street, or the friend, at this moment in Labra- 
dor, of whom one is thinking. Our present problem is the 
consideration of the obvious difference between familiar 
and unfamiliar consciousness of person, object or scene. 
We are to study the nature of this familiarity, to ask our- 
selves, for example, what makes only one figure familiar in 
the crowd which seethes through a great railway station, 
or why one's image of the Jungfrau is familiar and one's 
image of Mount Shasta unfamiliar. 

The feeling of familiarity has already been referred to 
as a relational experience. This account of it must now 
be justified in more detail. For, as has been shown, the 
very existence of relational elements is denied or ignored 
by most psychologists, and we have, therefore, no right to 
take them for granted without consideration. We shall 

1 Cf. Chapters XX. and XXI. 

The Feeling of Familiarity 255 

begin by discussing those accounts of the feeling of famil- 
iarity, which reduce it to sensational or to affective ele- 
ments. The first of these is most easily stated in terms 
of idea-psychology, though it could be formulated after 
the other fashion. It is the theory that familiarity con- 
sists in the presence, within percept or image, of associ- 
ated images, supplementing the bare, unfamiliar percept 
or image, of object or event. On this view (that associ- 
ated images must form a part of all ' familiar ' ideas), my 
image of a yellow omnibus with three white horses asso- 
ciates, first, the visual image of a crowded square and of 
the Doric portico of a great church, next the complex audi- 
tory image of trampling horses' feet and street cries, and 
finally, a verbal image, and along with this last image comes 
the familiarity as I say to myself, " the Filles de Calvaire 
omnibus, starting out from the Madeleine." Or, let us 
suppose the case of a familiar percept, in place of a famil- 
iar memory-image : my recognition, for example, of a long- 
lost copy of " In Memoriam " which I find, behind a row 
of tall volumes on a bookshelf. The bare percept of the 
worn, old, brown leather volume, with its dulled gilding and 
its yellow pages, is followed by a perfect rush of images. 
Among them, perhaps, are the visual image of the dormer 
window in my father's study and of myself, a mere child, 
curled up in it, looking up from this old book to watch the 
doves as they circle about the neighboring, gray church 
spire, the auditory image of the voice which used to read 
aloud from the poem, and finally, the verbal image of the 
words, " My old ' In Memoriam' ; " and with these images 
comes the gush of familiarity-feeling which pervades the 

There is not, then, the faintest reason to doubt, that the 
familiar percept and image usually include associated 
images of name and of former environment. But two 
important facts forbid the conclusion that the recognition 
or familiarity consists of these supplementary images. In 
the first place, it is highly probable that percepts and 

256 Familiarity and Supplementary Images 

images are sometimes familiar without the occurrence of 
supplementary images. Such cases are doubtless very 
rare, and need to be carefully tested, for one may often 
suppose oneself to recognize an object, without knowing 
name or date or attendant detail, and yet later intro- 
spection may discover the presence of some supplementary 
image, however insignificant, some imaged movement or 
odor or intonation. In spite of this difficulty, certain good 
observers are convinced that percepts and images are occa- 
sionally familiar, without supplementary images. The Dan- 
ish psychologist, Harold Hoffding, holds this view, and 
instances an unaccustomed and unnamed, yet familiar, tint 
in the sky, and an unlocated organic sensation. In these 
cases, he says, "we know nothing about the former setting 
of the experience ; we know neither the time nor the cir- 
cumstances of its former occurrence, we do not know even 
the name. The objects are, nevertheless, ' familiar/ though 
introspection shows not the faintest trace of other repre- 
sentations, awakened by the recognized phenomenon." 1 

More important than this general testimony is the result 
of certain experimental observations made by Lehmann, 
another Danish psychologist. 2 He tested several observers, 
with a series of sixty-six odors, and found, in seven per 
cent of the tests, that the odors were familiar, and that the 
persons tested were, nevertheless, unable to name them or 
in any way to connect them with other experiences. A repe- 
tition of Lehmann's experiment, under more careful condi- 
tions in the Wellesley College laboratory, has corroborated 
these results. 

In the end, however, every one must decide, by intro- 
spection, whether or not the feeling of familiarity consists 
in the presence of supplementary images. To the writer 
it seems perfectly certain that these images, when they are 
present, are accompaniments, not constituents, of the famil- 

1 " Vierteljahrschrift fur Wissenschaftliche Philosophic," XIII, p. 425. 

2 Wundt'8 " Philosophische Studien," Bd. VII. 

Familiarity and Bodily Attitude 257 

iarity-feeling. The familiarity of a face, for example, does 
not consist in a verbal image of the name, or of a scene, 
nor in any combination of images. The familiarity may, 
to be sure, attach to these supplementary images, and not 
to the original percept or image ; for instance, not the face, 
but the name which it suggests, may be familiar ; and be- 
cause the feeling of familiarity arises along with the image 
of name or of former scene, it is natural to confuse them. 
But, in the experience of the writer, the feeling of famil- 
iarity itself is individual and distinctive, it persists in vary- 
ing experiences, and it clearly is something besides the 
supplementary images which accompany it. 

Abandoning this theory, we therefore consider a second: 
the conception of familiarity as consciousness of the relaxed 
or ' easy ' bodily attitude characteristic of recognition. We 
have all observed the change from the strained position of 
sense-organs and limbs, in puzzling over an unrecognized 
object, to this relaxed and unstrained attitude of recogni- 
tion. Titchener describes this complex of organic sensa- 
tions, set up by an easy bodily attitude, as in fact simply 
'a weakened survival of the emotion of relief.' "To an 
animal," he adds, "so defenceless as was primitive man, 
the strange must always have been cause of anxiety. The 
bodily attitude which expresses recognition is still that of 
relief from tension." J 

This is doubtless an accurate account of the bodily sen- 
sations which accompany the feeling of familiarity sensa- 
tions, in other words, of bodily relaxation, more constant 
in our moods of recognition than we realize. Yet nobody 
can well suppose that it is precisely the same thing to be 
conscious of the easing of one's bodily attitude and of an 
object's familiarity. At the most, these organic sensations 
can form only a part of the feeling of familiarity. This 
conception is, therefore, combined with another, and famili- 
arity-feeling is defined as the mood of pleasantness com- 

1" Outline," 70. 

258 Familiarity and Pleasantness 

bined with sensations of bodily relaxation. Now, it 
certainly is often true that recognition is a pleasant expe- 
rience. But when I call an object or a scene ' familiar,' I 
mean by that term something more than * pleasant and 
productive of bodily relaxation,' and when I say that the 
familiarity of a landscape is pleasant, I mean that the 
landscape is ' familiar and pleasant,' not that it is ' famil- 
iar, namely, pleasant.' This relation becomes clearer 
by comparison with pleasant sensational experiences. 
Brilliant color is usually pleasant, as familiarity is, but 
the color is accompanied by the pleasantness, not iden- 
tical with it, and in the same way the familiar is pleas- 
ant, though the pleasantness is not a part of the familiarity. 

Moreover, it is not perfectly certain that the familiar 
always is pleasant. The ordinary experiences of tiring of 
amusements and growing weary of one's surroundings, in 
other words, the everyday feelings of tediousness and 
of ennui t seem to be illustrations of familiar experiences, 
which are unpleasant, not in themselves, but precisely be- 
cause of their familiarity. At the same time, too great 
stress must not be laid on this argument. For, in opposi- 
tion, it may be urged that these apparently unpleasant, yet 
familiar, experiences are felt as familiar for only a brief 
time, and that when they later lose the evanescent pleas- 
antness, they lose, with it, the sense of familiarity. 

The familiarity-feeling is, then, neither a group of sup- 
plementary images, nor a consciousness of bodily attitude, 
nor a feeling of pleasantness, though ordinarily, perhaps 
even always, accompanied by all these experiences. In 
no one of these phenomena, however constant their appear- 
ance, and in no combination of them, does the feeling of 
familiarity consist ; and since virtually no other account 
of it has ever been given, in terms of mere sensational and 
attributive elements, we have a right to say, if our careful in- 
trospection accords with that of this book, that the feeling of 
familiarity does not consist in such sensational and attribu- 
tive elements. We are fairly driven, therefore, to the doctrine 

Analysis of the Feeling of Familiarity 259 

that familiarity-feeling is fundamentally a relational expe- 
rience. Beyond this indefinite statement it is difficult to 
proceed, for relational experiences, as we have seen, pre- 
sent grave difficulties to the analyst. It is hard to analyze 
them, in the first place, because it is impossible to regulate 
their physical and physiological conditions, and conse- 
quently to apply experimental tests, and in the second 
place, because the relational elements so closely fuse with 
each other. It is quite possible, therefore, to realize the 
distinctiveness of familiarity-feeling and also its complex- 
ity, and yet to be unable to analyze it further. Like some 
sensational complexes, humidity, for example, it is so inti- 
mate a fusion of elements as to have an individuality of its 
own. But like that, too, it is, after all, capable of analysis 
into simpler parts, the relational feelings of ' same ' and 
of 'past.' In other words, the recognition of an object 
seems to mean, when reflected on, the consciousness ' same 
with a past thing,' and the recognition of an event means 
the awareness of ' this event identical-with-something-past.' 
Closely observed, therefore, every feeling of familiarity is 
analyzable into these factors. This does not mean that 
we necessarily think of the words ' same ' or ' past,' but 
that we have special sorts of feeling expressed by these 
words. The feeling of the ' same ' is relatively simple. 
The analysis of the ' feeling of past ' is far more difficult. 
It involves, like all consciousness of temporal relation, a 
realization of the ' moment,' that is, of the fact which is 
linked with other facts in two directions. But the ' past ' 
is the irrevocable, unrevivable moment. The feeling of 
the past may, therefore, be roughly described as the con- 
sciousness of an irrevocable fact, linked in two directions 
with other facts. 1 

At the present stage, however, of our training in psy- 
chological method, it is idle to pursue too far an analysis, 
incapable of verification and precise formulation by experi- 

1 Cf. p. 301. 

260 Par amnesia 

mental methods. We have seen that the feeling of 
familiarity is a relational, not primarily a sensational or 
an attributive experience, and that familiarity-feeling is 
analyzable into simpler relational experiences : (i) the 
feeling of 'same,' and (2), the feeling of 'past' (probably 
involving a feeling of linkage, or connection). Further- 
more, we have observed that familiarity is almost always a 
pleasant experience, including the consciousness of a re- 
laxed bodily attitude ; and that the familiar, or recognized, 
percept or image is almost always, though not invariably, 
accompanied by supplementary images, concrete and ver- 
bal, to which the familiarity often attaches. 

It should be noticed that the feeling of familiarity often 
accompanies experiences, which are not reproductions or 
repetitions of the past. This false recognition goes by the 
inaccurate name of paramnesia, or false memory. Its com- 
monest form is the ' been-here-before ' feeling which some- 
times overwhelms us when we enter places which are strange 
to us and scenes which are new. This is a case of false 
perceptional recognition, and is paralleled by experiences 
characteristic of many forms of insanity : a man's delusion, 
for example, that he has himself written the articles which 
he reads in the daily papers. A second sort of paramnesia 
is false image-recognition. Many of our dream-imagina- 
tions and many experiences of the mentally deranged are 
of this type, but even commoner illustrations of it are 
the inaccurate testimony and the fictitious ' recollections ' 
of perfectly honest people. Nicolay and Hay, the biogra- 
phers of Lincoln, are quoted l as saying, from their experi- 
ence in editing recollections, that " mere memory unassisted 
by documentary evidence is utterly unreliable after a lapse 
of fifteen years " ; and a French writer, Le Bon, says expli- 
citly, " Works of history must be considered as works of 
pure imagination they are fanciful accounts of ill-ob- 

1 Burnham, " Memory," American Journal of Psychology, Vol. II., p. 435. 

Recognition and Memory 261 

served facts. Had not the past left us its monumental 
works, we should know absolutely nothing in reality with 
regard to bygone times." Without going to this extreme, 
we certainly must admit that we have countless experiences 
of false recognition, in which, as we have said, the ' feel- 
ing of familiarity ' attaches itself to some novel percept or 

In conclusion, a fresh reference must be made to the 
widely different uses of the words ' recognition ' and 
1 memory.' In this book, memory is denned as the faith- 
fully reproduced imagination. On this view, a memory 
may or may not be a recognition. One may be dreamily 
conscious, for example, of an imaged figure, before one 
wakes up to the consciousness of its familiarity, exclaim- 
ing, " It is Murillo's St. John in the National Gallery." 
Yet all the time the imaged picture, if a reproduction of 
the real one, is remembered, though it is not recognized. 

Opposed to this view, is the conception of memory as 
the imagination-form of what we have called recognition. 1 
On this hypothesis, an image, however faithfully recalled, 
is a mere reproduced image, not a memory, unless it is 
known as familiar ; and the familiar image, however false 
the familiarity, is ' remembered.' From this point of view 
recognition means merely ' familiar perception,' and mem- 
ory means ' familiar imagination.' 

The physiological basis of recognition, as consciousness 
of familiarity, has never been experimentally determined. 
According to the ordinary theory, the physiological condi- 
tion of familiarity-feeling is a function of the fibres con- 
necting the different brain-areas. But this is not a sufficient 
physiological explanation of recognition, for all centrally 
aroused images depend on the excitation of connecting 
fibres, yet not all centrally aroused images are recognized. 

1 Cf. Titchener, " Outline," 74. 

262 Physiological Basis of Recognition 

It is far more likely that the excitation of cortical cells con- 
ditions recognition ; and this view accords with analogy, 
for cell-activity of nerve-centres is supposed to condition 
sensational and affective consciousness. Probably, there- 
fore, the excitation of certain cells in the so-called associa- 
tion-centres is the condition of recognition. 

Many physiological explanations of paramnesia have 
been attempted, of which the best known attributes it to 
the functioning, in quick succession, of the two sides of 
the brain. This conception runs athwart the strong prob- 
ability that one side only of the brain is normally active. 
Other psychologists explain paramnesia as due to the suc- 
cession, because of weariness, of ordinarily overlapping 
brain processes ; still others believe that it is due to un- 
wontedly prompt cerebral activity. No one of these 
explanations is physiologically established. 


THERE are, of course, two points of view from which we 
may regard the emotional consciousness. An emotion 
may be considered, in the first place, as a complex fact of 
consciousness (or idea), which forms one link in a series of 
conscious experiences. From this standpoint, an emotion 
is defined as any complex fact of consciousness, of which 
either pleasantness or unpleasantness is the significant 
feature. That is to say, in emotion, the perception or 
image " is swamped in the affection." Briefly, then, an 
emotion is an affective complex, and since there are pre- 
cisely two affections, pleasantness and unpleasantness, 
there are, as we shall see, two main types of emotion, 
those of happiness and those of unhappiness. A second- 
ary constituent of emotions must now be mentioned : the 
consciousness of bodily changes, of warmth or chill, of 
quickened or retarded heart-beats, of respiratory move- 
ments, as in laughing or sobbing, and of movements of the 
limbs, such as trembling or clinching the fists. Probably 
all emotions, and certainly most emotions, contain these 
ideas of bodily change. It will be most convenient to dis- 
cuss them later, in connection with our study of the physi- 
ological conditions of emotion. 

But emotion is not adequately described as a mere idea, 
containing affections and consciousness of bodily change. 
For love and hatred, pity and envy, jealousy and contempt 
are intensely personal experiences, and are not fully known 


264 Personal Emotion 

while they are looked on as mere ideas without any 
reference to the selves who ' have ' the ideas. Indeed, 
we cannot think of love, sympathy and contempt, without 
taking account of the selves who love and are loved, who 
sympathize and are sympathized with, who despise and 
are despised. 

Emotion now regarded not as mere idea, but as experi- 
ence of a self related to other selves or to things is like 
perception, thought, imagination and memory, the experi- 
ences which we have so far studied, in that it is recog- 
nized as passive relation of one self to another. This 
characteristic, passivity, will stand out more clearly as 
contrasted, in the chapter which follows, with the activity of 
will and of faith. From perception, thought and the rest, 
emotion is also distinguished. For emotion is the relation 
of a particular happy or unhappy self to particular other 
selves or to other things, to * this person ' or to ' that land- 
scape,' not to ' people in general ' nor to ' any scene.' In 
perception and in thought, we assume, as we have seen, our 
agreement with all selves or with any selves, that is, with 
an undifferentiated mass of selves. Emotion particularizes 
both subject and object self. The criminal fears, not 
authority in general, but the personified executors of the 
law ; the nouveau riche envies, not society in the abstract, 
but the living, concretely successful men and women ; the 
true philanthropist loves, not humanity in general, but 
actual, suffering, striving human beings. And because 
we realize, all of us, this concrete personality of emotion, 
we so quickly detect the false note of pretended feeling, 
and so quickly suspect that 'affection for childhood,' 
' love of the animal world,' ' sympathy with the masses,' 
are pseudo-sentiments and pretended emotions. The real 
emotions are particularizing, never abstract or generaliz- 
ing, and the resentment, with which every vigorous man 
receives public charity or mere institutional aid, is a wit- 
ness to the universal conviction that emotion is the rela- 
tion of individual with individual 

The Individuality of Emotion 265 

This individuating power of emotion is well suggested 
in Matthew Arnold's description of the meeting of Sohrab 
and Rustum. Father and son come forth to do battle in 
the level plain on the banks of the Oxus, between the 
Tartar and the Persian hosts. They are not known to 
each other, and Rustum, the father, has denied his own 
name ; but Sohrab, in spite of this protestation, vaguely 
realizes the presence of his father, and exclaims : 

" Thou sayest thou art not Rustum ; be it so ! 
Who art thou, then, that canst so touch my soul? 
Boy as I am, I have seen battles too, . . . 
Have . . . 

. . . heard their hollow roar of dying men, 
But never was my heart thus touched before. 
There are enough foes in the Persian host 
Whom I may meet, and strike and feel no pang, 
But oh! let there be peace 'twixt thee and me." 

Sohrab has heard the cries of battle, but they have not 
touched his heart, for they have assailed his ears as the 
sounds of mere undifferentiated * dying men ' ; he has 
met and struck, without a pang, undistinguished Persian 
champions ; now, at last, he meets one whom he no longer 
knows as ' Persian,' as ' warrior ' or as ' foe,' but as ' thou,' 
and with this acknowledgment of personal relation his 
heart is softened and his arm unnerved. 


We have now to describe the emotions in more detail. 
And, in the effort to be true to the distinctions of actual 
experience, we shall find, as will appear, that the most 
significant classes of emotions, as commonly recognized, 
are based on the varying relations of different selves to 
each other. The significant contrast between unhappy 
and happy emotions is, however, common both to idea-psy- 
chology and self-psychology. Our description of emotional 
experiences is based on the following outline : 

266 Classes of Emotion 


I. Egoistic or Unsympathetic Emotions : 

a. Primary. 

1. Happiness, realized as due to others . . . Liking. 

2. Unhappiness, realized as due to others . . Dislike. 

b. Developed. 

1. Happiness, realized as due to others . . . Gratitude. 

2. Unhappiness, realized as due to others, 

Who are 

(a) Greater than oneself Terror. 

(b) Equal to oneself Hate. 

(c) Inferior to oneself Contempt. 

II. Altruistic or Sympathetic Emotions : 

a. Happiness through shared happiness .... Mitfreude. 

b. Unhappiness through shared unhappiness . . Pity. 

III. Mixed Emotions : 

a. Happiness through another's unhappiness . . Malice. 

b. Unhappiness through another's happiness . . Envy. 


We recognize, first, the distinction between personal 
emotion, the passive and particularizing relation of happy 
or unhappy self to other selves, and impersonal emotion, 
a similar relation not to other selves, but to events or 
to things. Of these classes, that of personal emotion is 
most primitive and most significant, and we shall first con- 
sider it. 


Personal emotion appears in the two well-marked phases 
which underlie all consciousness, the imperious or egoistic 
and the sympathetic or adoptive. Imperious or unsym- 
pathetic emotion is sometimes described as if it were a 
mere recognition of one's own self without reference to 

1 For amplification, see p. 276 seq. 

Egoistic Personal Emotion 267 

any other. If this were true, it would not be personal 
emotion at all, for that demands the relation to a particu- 
lar other self, and exists only in so far as it emphasizes 
and individuates the other self or other selves. Like and 
dislike, fear and gratitude and all the rest are obviously 
expressions of one's attitude to other selves, but these 
' others ' are not realized as themselves caring and hating 
and fearing, but only as the conscious, yet unfeeling, tar- 
gets or instruments to one's own emotions. 

It follows from this distinction that many kindly, good- 
natured feelings are rightly classed as unsympathetic. 
Mere liking, for example, is as unsympathetic and ego- 
istic an experience as dislike. Toward this particular 
realized self one reacts with pleasure ; from this other, one 
turns away. But the pleasure is as distinctly individual 
and unshared as the dissatisfaction. The other selves are 
means to one's content or discontent, and are thought of 
as subordinated to one's own interests. 

We have, therefore, two distinct types of unsympathetic 
emotion. On the one hand, there is the moroseness, the 
discontent, the hostile fear or hate or contempt, of the man 
who realizes himself as unfavorably related to other selves. 
Quite as significant, on the other hand, is the unruffled 
good-nature, the sunshiny content, the unaffected liking, or 
even gratitude, of the individual who feels that he is happy 
in his relations with other selves. The common temptation 
is, of course, to give to these genial feelings an ethical 
value, and to contrast dislike, as selfishness, with liking, as 
if that were unselfish. The truth is, however, that the one 
attitude is as ' egoistic ' as the other. To like people is to 
realize them as significant to one's own happiness, not to 
identify oneself with their happiness. And, in truth, a 
great part of what is known as ' love ' of family or of coun- 
try is of this strictly egoistic nature. Dombey loved his 
son because the boy was ' important as a part of his own 
greatness ' ; Victor Hugo is credited with the sublime ego- 
ism of the assertion " France is the world; Paris is France; 

268 Egoistic Emotion: Liking 

I am Paris " ; and many a man loves family, church or 
country merely as the embodiment of his own particular 
interests and purposes. 

It is even possible to secure other people's pleasure and 
to avoid paining them, not in the least to gain their happi- 
ness, but because their cries of grief assault our ears as 
their happy laughter delights us. The most consummately 
heartless figure of modern literature, Tito Melema, is so 
tender-hearted that he turns his steps, lest he crush an in- 
sect on the ground, and devotes a long afternoon to calm- 
ing a little peasant's grief. "The softness of his nature," 
we are told, " required that all sorrow should be hidden 
away from him." But this same Tito Melema betrays wife 
and foster-father and country, in the interests of his own 
self-indulgence : other people's emotions are insignificant 
to him in themselves ; he regards them only as the expres- 
sion of them rouses him to delight or to sorrow ; he never 
for an instant enters into them, identifies himself with them, 
or makes them his own. 

The avoidance of another's pain does, it must be added, 
require what is sometimes called sympathy, the involuntary 
tendency to share the organic sensational consciousness of 
other people. The pain which one feels at the sight of 
somebody's wound is an illustration of this experience, 
known as ' organic sympathy.' We are discussing, how- 
ever, the emotion of sympathy, not the sympathetic sensa- 
tion, and it is certain that one may further the pleasure or 
pain of others with purely egoistic emotion. 

Besides this fundamental difference between the per- 
sonal emotions, liking and gratitude, which involve pleasant- 
ness, and the opposite ones, dislike, terror and hate, which 
are unpleasant experiences, we must take account also of 
another difference, which marks off the primary from the 
developed form of these feelings. In all these experiences, 
our happiness or unhappiness is referred, as we have seen, 
to other selves, and is realized as connected with them. 
When the consciousness of this relation becomes explicit, 

Egoistic Emotion: Gratitude 269 

that is, when other people are clearly and definitely real- 
ized as affecting us and as sources of our happiness or 
unhappiness, then those vaguer personal feelings of like 
and dislike give way to emotions, in which the realiza- 
tion of others is more sharp-cut and more exactly defined. 
We may study these developed egoistic emotions in more 

The egoistic, imperious emotion which refers our own 
happiness to other selves is gratitude. This definition, it 
must be admitted, is inadequate to the ordinary conception 
of gratitude. For gratitude is more often regarded from 
an ethical than from a psychological standpoint, and is 
usually classed as ' virtue,' not as mere ' emotion.' There 
is, none the less, an emotional experience of gratitude which 
is utterly unsympathetic, albeit the natural basis of sym- 
pathy. I feel grateful, when I am happy over the further- 
ance of my interests by somebody else, realizing definitely, 
at the same time, my dependence, in this happiness, on my 
benefactor. This is gratitude, surely, but it is none the 
less the imperious emphasis on my own happiness, and need 
not be in any sense a sympathetic, shared experience. The 
constant characteristic of gratitude, as of mere liking, is a 
sort of hugging of one's own pleasure, which is supple- 
mented, not obscured, by definitely attributing it to some- 
body else. It is true that the transition is easy from 
gratitude to sympathy. A natural outgrowth, from the 
realization of my own happiness as influenced by some one 
else, is the interest in his experience, that is, the acknowl- 
edgment of his emotional interests. These, however, are 
distinct, not identical experiences, however closely they are 
connected. The benefactor toward whom I entertain un- 
doubted gratitude may be temperamentally uncongenial. 
It may be literally impossible for me to sympathize with 
him, to make his happiness and unhappiness my own, even 
while I unequivocally realize him as influencing my happi- 
ness. Truth to tell, everybody knows people to whom he 
is grateful, without feeling the remotest sympathy with 

270 Egoistic Emotion: Terror 

them, indeed, without ever understanding them or getting 
their point of view. And almost everybody knows people 
who are, he believes, grateful to him without in the least 
sharing in his own life, in his feelings, or in his ideals. We 
are justified, therefore, in classing gratitude as imperious 
or unsympathetic emotion, an exclusive concern in one's 
own happiness, with a recognition of other selves as merely 
instruments to one's own satisfaction. Gratitude is, there- 
fore, an egoistic experience, though it naturally adds to 
itself the genuinely sympathetic emotion. 

The egoistic, or imperious, emotion of dissatisfaction is 
the realization of other selves as means to one's unhappi- 
ness. It assumes the characteristic attitude of all these 
unsympathetic experiences, regarding others, not as inde- 
pendent individuals, but as significant only in their relation 
to oneself. It is a curious fact that these unpleasant ex- 
periences are far more elaborately differentiated than the 
pleasant ones or at least, that they are distinguished by 
many more names. Closely regarded, these distinctions 
are found to be based on the estimate which is formed of 
those ' other selves,' who are means to one's unhappiness. 
When these are realized as ' greater,' more powerful, than 
oneself, the resulting emotion is terror; when they are 
conceived as on an equality with oneself, the emotion is 
hate ; when they appear, finally, as less important or signifi- 
cant, the feeling is ' scorn ' or ' contempt.' 

Every revolt from tyranny and oppression is a living 
illustration of this contrast of terror with hatred or rage. 
Why did the French peasantry, who endured the burdens 
of Louis Quatorze, rebel against the materially lessened 
impositions of Louis Seize ? What is the nature of the 
emotional contrast between the two generations, only a 
century apart : in the earlier period, hapless suffering from 
disease, starvation and exaction of every sort, without the 
stirring of opposition ; a hundred years later, fierce and 
furious resentment against oppression and misery? There 
is only one answer to questions such as these. The peas- 

Egoistic Emotion : Hate 2 7 1 

ants of the older period were still bound by the traditional 
belief, that court and nobles were naturally above them, 
loftier and more powerful than they. Their feeling to 
these superior beings, realized as instruments to their own 
undoing, was of necessity, therefore, the paralyzing emo- 
tion of terror. From the standpoint of the inner life, 
terror is, of course, what has been named unsympathetic 
or egoistic emotion. That is, it involves no adoption of 
another's life as one's own, but regards all others in their 
relation to one's own experience. So these French peas- 
ants regarded court and nobles without sympathy or under- 
standing, merely as their own oppressors and taskmasters ; 
but the feeling remained impotent and futile, and led to no 
effective reaction so long as the nobles held, in the minds 
of these peasants, their position of lofty isolation. The 
French Revolution was, in fact, directly due to the spread 
of the doctrine of social equality. Rousseau's teaching of 
the essential likeness of man to man, once it took root in 
the mind of the French people, grew of necessity into the 
conviction that peasants and nobles were no longer sepa- 
rated by an impassable barrier. And with this conviction 
of their equality, the unnerving emotion of terror gave 
way to the invigorating, infuriating feeling of anger. So 
it is with all. Men rage against their equals, are angry 
with them and hate them : against the gods in Olympus, 
or the Fates with spindle, thread and shears, men have 
never rebelled so long as they have regarded them as un- 
approachable deities: they have feared, not hated them. 
Only the demi-gods, the Titans and the heroes of Greek 
mythology, beings of divine descent who were proudly con- 
scious of their high birth, ever made battle against the 
gods ; and no ancient writer would attribute to mere mor- 
tals even the impotent hatred of the gods which inspires 
the Chorus of Swinburne's " Atalanta " : 

" Lo, with hearts rent and knees made tremulous, 
Lo, with ephemeral lips and casual breath, 
At least we witness of thee ere we die 

272 Egoistic Emotion: Scorn 

That these things are not otherwise, but thus ; 
That each man in his heart sigheth, and saith 

That all men, even as I, 
All we are against thee, against thee, O God most high." 

Such antagonism is possible only to men who realize in 
some dim way that, in spite of their pitiless strength and 
their wasting scorn, the gods are not beyond the range of 
human hate. 

Apparent exceptions are really illustrations of this prin- 
ciple, for the outburst of fury against one's superior always 
turns out to be a momentary denial of his superiority, a 
temporary tearing of the god from its pedestal. The fear 
of the superior beings readily, however, reasserts itself, 
and this explains the temporary nature of many revolts 
and the easy resumption of authority. A handful of sol- 
diers may check the violence of a mob, because the vision 
of brass buttons and uniforms inspires an unreasoning con- 
viction of the superiority of military force, and transforms 
destructive rage into futile fear. The insubordinate fury 
of usually obedient children is like mob-violence, a tempo- 
rary assertion of equality with their old-time superiors ; 
and like mob-fury, the anger of children readily gives way 
to the old acceptance of authority. 

The emotion of scorn, finally, involves the conviction of 
another's inferiority. It is evidently impossible to despise 
a man, so long as one regards him as one's own superior, or 
even as one's equal. Contempt is, thus, the dissatisfaction 
involved in one's relation to an inferior person. The infe- 
riority may be real or imagined, and of any sort; but just 
as gratitude may be regarded as a virtue, so contempt is 
readily considered from the ethical standpoint, and it is 
rightly rated as morally unworthy if it takes account of 
the superficial inferiority of fortune or of station. 

The experiences, which we have so far described, have 
all been characterized by their egoistic narrowing of con- 
sciousness, their heavy emphasis on one's own concerns 

Sympathetic Emotion 273 

and interests, their incurable tendency to regard other 
selves merely as ministers to one's own individual satisfac- 
tions and dissatisfactions. The sympathetic emotions are 
manifestations of the adoptive phase of self-consciousness, 
the widening embrace of other people's interests, the shar- 
ing of other people's happiness and unhappiness. In one's 
sympathetic relations with other people, one regards them 
as possessing a significance of their own, quite aside from 
their relations of advantage or disadvantage to oneself, and 
one lays hold upon these new interests and ideals in such 
wise as to enlarge the boundaries of one's own experience. 

Emotions of personal sympathy are of two main types : 
we are happy in another's happiness or unhappy in his 
grief. There is no English word to express the sharing 
of joy, and we are forced to borrow from the Germans 
their exact and perfect word, Mitfreude. The poverty 
of the English language expresses, unhappily, a defect in 
human nature. We certainly are quicker in sympathy 
with people's sorrow than in delight in their happiness. 
It is easier to weep to our friends' mourning than to dance 
to their piping, easier to share their griefs than to share 
their amusements, infinitely easier to console them than to 
make holiday with them. 

The greatest distinction in these simple feelings of 
sympathy is in the narrowness or the wideness of them. 
There may be but one individual whose experience I 
actually share, whose joys and sorrows I feel as mine. 
In the presence of this one other self my strictly individual 
happiness is disregarded, and the boundaries of my self- 
consciousness are enlarged. I live no longer my own 
life, but this other life or rather, my own life includes 
this other life. Yet my relations to all others save this 
cherished one may remain narrowly egoistic : I may still 
be concerned only for myself, and interested in these 
others only as foils to my emotions. Life and literature 
abound in examples of sympathy within the narrowest 
limits, of egoistic emotion giving way at one point only. 

2 74 Sympathetic Emotion 

Aaron Latta is a modern illustration of this attitude : 
he lives his self-centred life undisturbed by the wants, the 
hopes, the cares, of the village life about him, but he is 
quick to notice the shade on Elspeth's brow and the 
merest quiver on her lip. With a true intuition, indeed, 
the novelists and the dramatists have united to represent 
the most unsympathetic of mortals as vulnerable at some 
point. Dickens, the keen anatomist of the emotions, has 
only one Scrooge ' quite alone in the world . . . warning 
all human sympathy to keep its distance,' and represents 
even the Squeerses as possessed of ' common sympathies ' 
with their own children. 

Closely following upon the narrowest form of sympathy, 
which recognizes the claims and adopts the interests of 
one individual only, are family-feeling, club-feeling, col- 
lege-feeling, church-affiliation and all the other sympa- 
thies with widening groups of people. For sympathy is 
normally of slow growth. The more primitive emotions 
are naturally self-centred, and they give place only grad- 
ually to the identification of oneself, first with the joys and 
griefs of one's mother or nurse or most intimate playmate, 
then with the emotional experiences of the whole family 
group, later with the hopes and fears and regrets and 
delights of a larger circle. It is interesting to observe 
that, with every widening of one's sympathy, the limiting 
circumference of one's own self is pushed further outward. 
The sympathetic person has always a richer, concreter 
personality than the self-centred one. He has actually 
shared in experiences that are not immediately his own ; 
he has seen with other's eyes and heard with their ears, 
and his pulses have beat high to their hopes and joys: 
his experience has been enlarged by his sympathies. 

There is something abnormal, therefore, in the checking 
at any point of this outgrowth of sympathy. People whose 
sympathies embrace only the members of their family, 
their cult or their class are only incompletely human, for 
a lack of emotional comprehension, or sympathy, marks a 

Mixed Emotion 275 

stunted personality. Even patriotism, so far as it limits 
sympathy to feeling with the inhabitants of any one corner 
of the globe, deprives a man of his birthright : commun- 
ion in the joys and sorrows of life with ' all nations of 
men,' or rather, with that which Tolstoi calls 'the one 

We have, finally, to consider the mixed emotions : happi- 
ness through realization of another's unhappiness, that is, 
malice, and unhappiness through consciousness of an- 
other's happiness, that is, envy. By common consent, 
these are morally undesirable emotions, yet there can be 
no question that they are sympathetic, as well as egoistic, 
that is, that they require a genuine sharing of another's 
experience. I cannot envy you, if I am so deeply occu- 
pied with my own emotions that I do not realize you as 
happy. And I cannot really know that you are happy 
without, in some degree, experiencing or sharing your 
happiness. This, to be sure, is often denied : we are said 
to possess the idea of an emotion without experiencing the 
emotion itself. But, surely, to be conscious of emotion 
means nothing if it does not mean to have the emotion. 
I may, of course, have the purely verbal images, ' happy,' 
* unhappy,' ' emotion,' without any affective consciousness 
and without any realization of myself in relation to others ; 
but nobody's emotion can influence my own without my 
experiencing or sharing it to some degree. The resulting 
relations to other selves are, therefore, as has been said, 
mixed emotions. Not only do they combine happiness 
and unhappiness, but they supplement a sympathetic by 
an egoistic emotion : the happiness which we faintly 
share with another, in our envy, is swamped in the ego- 
istic unhappiness which it arouses, and the unhappiness 
of our fellow, dimly felt in our maliciousness, is swallowed 
up in a surging happiness that is quite our own. 

It would be a mistake, however, to suppose that malice 
and envy exhaust the nature of this emotional experience 
of mingled sympathy and egoism. Barrie has shown us 

276 Impersonal Emotion 

a perfect embodiment of mixed emotion in the figure of 
Sentimental Tommy. Never was anybody more sympa- 
thetic than Tommy, boy and man. He entered into the 
feeling of friend and of foe alike : divined and shared in 
Elspeth's loneliness, Aaron's bitterness, Grizel's passion 
and scorn, and Corp's loyalty. He never could have been 
what he was to all of them, had he not, up to a certain 
point, shared actually in their feelings ; had he not be- 
lieved in himself as Elspeth and Corp believed in him, 
hated himself as Aaron hated him, alternately loved and 
despised himself as Grizel loved and despised him. And 
yet all this sympathetic communion with others was merely 
a stimulus to his own private emotions, a ministry to the 
luxury of his self-occupation, whether delicious pleasure 
or equally delicious misery. Such sympathy, as element of 
one's egoistic and unshared happiness or unhappiness, is 
mixed emotion. 


We have so far concerned ourselves with personal emo- 
tion, the conscious relation of happy or unhappy self with 
other selves. But one may like or dislike the furnishings 
of a room as cordially as one likes or dislikes its inmates, 
and one may be as desperately frightened by a swift-roll- 
ing automobile as by a naughty despot. This means that 
emotion, though primarily a realized relation of one self to 
other selves, may be also a relation of oneself to ideas and 
to things. 

Some emotions, to be sure, are necessarily personal. 
Every form of sympathy presupposes our realization of 
other selves, and gratitude, like contempt, is felt toward 
selves and not toward things. Hate, also, is a personal 
emotion since, although we often feel a certain irrita- 
tion, more than bare dislike, for inanimate objects when 
they thwart our purposes, yet in these cases we probably 
personify the things at which we are angry. Such per- 

Classes of Impersonal Emotion 277 

Bonification of inanimate objects is ridiculously clear in a 
child's anger at the blocks which refuse to be built into 
forts, or at the doors which resist his efforts to open 
them ; and even grown-up resentment against obdurate 
buttons, creaking hinges, and smoking lamps involves a 
personification of the offending object. " Oh, you are a 
stupid old donkey ! " Bella exclaims, as she knocks the 
" Complete British Housewife " on the table ; and most 
perverse, inanimate objects are similarly apostrophized. 

After all these eliminations, there none the less remain 
certain impersonal emotions. We shall not attempt to 
discuss, or even to enumerate all of them, but shall con- 
sider only certain representatives of the class. These we 
may group together in the following summary, distinguish- 
ing these impersonal emotions not only from the stand- 
point of self-psychology as egoistic or altruistic, but also 
from the analytic point of view, common to both methods 
of psychology, as pleasant or unpleasant, sensational or 
relational : 


I. Egoistic II. Altruistic (sentiments) 

a. Sensational : Like. a. Sensational : Esthetic 

Dislike. pleasure. 

b. Relational : Enjoyment of the b. Relational : Sense of 

familiar. humor, 

Ennui) etc. 


Impersonal emotion, the conscious relation of happy or 
unhappy self to event or to thing is, like personal emotion, 
a narrowing and particularizing experience. Just as I love 
or hate, pity or envy, this particular person or these people, 
and do not impartially and indiscriminately care for ' any- 
body,' so, also, I like or dislike this special thing or these 
things, am bored by this monotony, and pleased with that 
familiar experience ; and my aesthetic pleasure is always an 
absorption in this pastoral symphony, this western outlook, 

278 The Esthetic Consciousness 

or this Browning lyric, not an indiscriminate delight in 

We have already instanced impersonal like and dislike 
for things, not people. We have many experiences, also, 
of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the relational aspects 
of things or events. Our outline names only two of these : 
enjoyment of the familiar, and the parallel distaste for the 
repeated or monotonous. Both feelings are well known : 
the cosey comfort of the old slippers and the old pipe, even 
when one can find a thousand flaws in both ; and, on the 
other hand, the flat, stale profitlessness of the well-known 
scene and the everyday objects. We, poverty-stricken, 
English-speaking people, have no noun by which to desig- 
nate this latter experience : we may call it tediousness, or 
may speak of ourselves as 'bored,' but we are often driven 
to borrow one of the adequate, foreign expressions, ennui 
or Langweile. 

Both like and dislike and the relational emotions are 
distinctly egoistic, laying special stress on myself and my 
condition. Among the impersonal emotions, however, are 
certain highly significant ones which are embodiments of 
the other phase, the adoptive, self-effacing phase of con- 
sciousness. The first of these, aesthetic enjoyment, we 
must consider briefly : a full treatment of it would require 
another volume, and would lead us far afield into domains 
of philosophy and of art. ^Esthetic enjoyment is the con- 
scious happiness in which one is absorbed, and, as it were, 
immersed in the sense-object. No words describe aesthetic 
emotion better than Byron's question : 

"Are not the mountains, waves, and skies a part 
Of me and of my soul, as I of them ? " 

For the aesthetic consciousness, as truly as sympathetic 
emotion, is a widening and deepening of self not a loss 
of self by identification of the narrow myself, not with 
other selves, but with sense-things : with wide outlooks or 
with forest-depths, with up-springing Gothic arches or with 

The ^Esthetic Consciousness 279 

glowing masses of pictured color, with thrilling harmonies 
or with measured rhythms. 

It is important to dwell on the consciousness of self 
involved in the aesthetic feeling, because there is, as we 
have seen, a sense in which the aesthetic consciousness, 
because it refers to things, not to people, is rightly called 
impersonal. But absorption in the beautiful is never a loss 
of self. Most of that with which one is usually concerned 
is indeed lost : one's practical needs, one's scientific inter- 
ests, even one's loves and hates and personal relationships 
are vanished, but in place of these, there is the beauty of 
this or that sense-thing, which one adopts, accepts, receives, 
acknowledges, widening thus the confines of one's person- 
ality. There is an easy introspective verification of this 
account of the aesthetic consciousness. Let a man scruti- 
nize closely the feeling with which he emerges from one 
of those 'pauses of the mind,' in which he 'contem- 
plates' an object 'aesthetically'; he is sure to experience 
a curious feeling of having shrunken away from a certain 
largeness and inclusiveness of experience, and though he 
has regained interests which he had temporarily lacked, he 
has also lost something from his very self. 

From this general description of aesthetic enjoyment as 
an adoption and acknowledgment of sense-objects, an 
immersion of oneself in the external and objective, we 
enter upon a more detailed consideration of its character- 
istics. The aesthetic consciousness is, first and foremost, 
enjoyment, not dissatisfaction, a mode of happiness, never 
of unhappiness. This follows from the completeness of 
absorption in the aesthetic object, for unhappiness and dis- 
satisfaction involve always desire, aversion or resentment, 
the effort to escape from one's environment. This means, 
of course, that the aesthetic experience is a consciousness 
always of the beautiful, never of the ugly. Ugliness is 
not a term of aesthetic emotion : it is not a positive term 
at all, but a reflective description of an object as unaes- 
thetic, an epithet which can only be applied after one has 

280 The Esthetic Consciousness 

had experience of the beautiful. 1 The aesthetic conscious- 
ness, furthermore, involves a high degree of attention, the 
clear, or vivid, experience, which is narrowed, prolonged 
and readily revivable. This, indeed, is definitely implied in 
the description of aesthetic pleasure as absorption of one- 
self in the sense-object. Now this conception of aes- 
thetic emotion, as involving attention, helps us account for 
the things which people call beautiful. It is an open ques- 
tion whether simple experiences, such as single colors or 
tones, have any beauty ; but if we do attribute beauty to 
them, it is certainly by virtue of their intensity or distinct- 
ness : as when we admire the bright color or the distinct 
sound. But intense and distinct experiences are, as we 
know, ready objects of attention, so that it is fair to conclude 
that sensational experiences are beautiful, if ever, when 
easily attended to. 2 A careful scrutiny of complex objects 
of beauty shows that they, too, are easily attended to, though 
for another reason. The sense-object which is beautiful is 
always a whole of sense-experience, and both by the unity 
in which its details are united, and by the individuality of 
the combination, it is readily attended to. Every beautiful 
object is an illustration of the principle. Thus, curves are 
beautiful, and broken lines are ugly, in part because the 
curve is a whole, readily apprehended, whereas the broken 
line is a series of unessentially connected sections, with 
difficulty grasped as a whole; and rhythm is beautiful 
because it binds into a whole, expectantly apprehended, 
the successive movements, tones or words of the dance, 
the melody, or the poem. 

The more complex the parts which are bound together, 
if only the complexity does not overstrain the attention, 
the more organic the unity and the greater the beauty. 

1 Cf. George Santayana, "The Sense of Beauty," n, for a statement 
of this theory of the nature of ugliness. The opposite view is held by many 

2 Cf. Ward, " Psychology," Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th ed., Vol. XX., 
p. 70. 

The ^Esthetic Consciousness 281 

This explains the thrilling beauty of Swinburne's meters 
and certain of Browning's. One need not understand the 
words to have one's heart beat high to such rhythms as 
that of Swinburne : 

" Bind on thy sandals, O them most fleet, 
Over the splendor and speed of thy feet ; " 

or of Goethe : 

" Es schlug mein Herz 
Geschtvind zu Pfcrde." 

By this principle, also, we may explain what we call the 
development of our aesthetic sense. To a child, the 
couplet or the quatrain may well give more aesthetic 
pleasure than the sonnet, precisely because he can attend 
to the one and not to the other, as harmonious whole. 

Our consciousness of the beautiful is, in the second place, 
direct and immediate, not reflective and associative ; that 
is, the beautiful is always an object of direct and immedi- 
ate perception. An object may gain interest, significance 
and value, but never beauty, by its suggestiveness. This 
is an important point, for sentimental moralists and even 
sober psychologists are constantly contrasting what is 
called the beauty of expression, or significance, with imme- 
diately apprehended beauty. We are told, for instance, 
that the gnarled, misshapen hands of a devoted mother 
are 'beautiful' because they have toiled for her children, 
or that an ill-proportioned, wooden building is beautiful 
because it is a house of worship. These are misleading 
metaphors : nothing can be beautiful which is not a direct 
and immediate object of sense-perception ; the hands are 
ugly, though the mother's life is an inspiration ; the church 
is hideous, though it serves a high ideal. Nothing is gained, 
indeed, by confusing every value with the distinct and well- 
defined value of the beautiful. What we mean by aesthetic 
consciousness is a direct experience ; and, as Munsterberg 

282 The ^Esthetic Consciousness 

teaches, 1 only the unconnected, the 'isolated fact in its 
singleness,' can be beautiful can bring about, in other 
words, the complete absorption of self in sense-object. 

The third feature of the aesthetic consciousness has 
already been suggested; it is a characteristic emphasized 
by Kant, by Schiller, by Schopenhauer, and indeed, by all 
the great teachers : the entire disinterestedness of aesthetic 
pleasure. This means that the contrast between one self 
and other selves is all but vanished in the aesthetic experi- 
ence, and that one becomes, as Schopenhauer says, 'a 
world-eye,' a perceiving and enjoying, not a grasping or a 
holding self. To enjoy a bronze or a painting because it 
is mine, or to delight in a view because it stretches out 
before my window, is thus an utterly unaesthetic experience, 
for the sense of beauty admits no joy in possession, and 
beauty does not belong to any individual. This disin- 
terestedness of the aesthetic consciousness explains the 
mistaken opposition, sometimes made, of the ' beautiful ' 
to the ' useful.' It is quite incorrect to hold that a useful 
object may not also be beautiful : and, indeed, men like 
Morris and Ruskin have fairly converted even this Philis- 
tine age to the possibility of welding together use and 
beauty, in the practical objects of everyday life, in build- 
ings, furnishings and utensils. But it is true that one's 
consciousness of the utility banishes, for the time being, 
one's sense of the beauty, so that one cannot, at one and 
the same moment, appreciate the convenience of the Morris 
chair and the severe simplicity of its lines, or realize the 
beauty of a sky-line and the durability of a roof. While, 
therefore, objectively regarded, the union of beauty and 
utility is the end of all the arts and crafts, subjectively 
considered, the consciousness of utility cannot be fused 
with the sense of beauty, precisely because the aesthetic 
sense demands the subordination of narrow, personal ends. 

By this same principle, also, we may explain the common 

1 " Psychology and Life," p. 201. 

Impersonal Emotion 283 

distinction of aesthetic from unaesthetic sense-experiences. 
The organic sensations, such as satisfied hunger and thirst, 
bodily warmth, active exercise, all these are pleasant but 
they are not 'aesthetic' pleasures, because they are, of neces- 
sity, sharply individualized and referred to my particular 
self. Tastes, also, and smells, are experiences not readily 
objectified, but serving narrow and definite personal ends 
of bodily sustenance. They are seldom, therefore, artisti- 
cally treated as objects of aesthetic pleasure. For the beau- 
tiful object is cut off as utterly from my narrow needs and 
interests as from the associative connection with other facts 
in the words of Schopenhauer, it is ' neither pressed nor 
forced to our needs nor battled against and conquered by 
other external things.' Thus the world of beauty narrows 
to include one self, absorbed in one object of beauty. 

Two other forms of altruistic or adoptive impersonal 
emotion must be mentioned. The first of these is the en- 
joyment of logical unity, often discussed under the name 
'intellectual sentiment.' Every student knows the feeling, 
and counts among the most real of his emotional experi- 
ences the satisfied contemplation of an achieved unity in 
scientific classification or in philosophical system. The 
feeling should be sharply distinguished from another char- 
acteristic pleasure of the student, the excitement of the 
intellectual chase, the enjoyment of activity in even un- 
rewarded search. The feeling which we are now describ- 
ing follows upon this tormenting pleasure of the chase, as 
achievement follows upon endeavor. It clearly resembles 
aesthetic emotion, not only in its absorption and disinterest- 
edness, but also in the characteristic harmony, or unity, of 
the object of delight. For this reason, the enjoyment of 
logical unity is sometimes reckoned as itself an aesthetic ex- 
perience. The writer of this book, however, approves the 
ordinary usage which restricts the application of the term 
' beautiful ' to sense-objects. This limitation, of course, 
forbids the treatment of enjoyment of logical unity as a 
form of aesthetic pleasure. 

284 The ' Sense of Humor ' 

We shall, finally, therefore, touch upon a third form of 
impersonal and adoptive emotion: the sense of humor. 
For our present purpose, it is most important to dwell upon 
the self-absorbing, externalizing nature of the experience. 
Just as we are said to forget ourselves in our apprehension 
of the beautiful, so also we forget ourselves, that is, our 
narrow individuality, our special interests and purposes, in 
our appreciation of the humor of a situation. What Pro- 
fessor Santayana has well said of the aesthetic conscious- 
ness we may equally apply to the saving sense of humor : 
there is hardly a " situation so terrible that it may not be 
relieved by the momentary pause of the mind to contem- 
plate it aesthetically," or humorously. It is because we 
have such need of pauses, in the arduous business of 
living, that we value the sense of humor so highly, and 
for this same reason we find the most estimable people, if 
devoid of humor, so inexpressibly tiresome. 

There are as many theories of the comic as of the beau- 
tiful, but virtually all of them agree in defining the sense 
of humor as enjoyment of an unessential incongruity. 
Narrowly scrutinized, every 'funny' scene, every witty 
remark, every humorous situation, reveals itself as an in- 
congruity. The incongruity between one's ordinary free- 
dom of movement and the mechanical jerks of a Jarley 
waxwork figure make the comedy of that situation; and 
in the incongruity between the two clear meanings of the 
word ' illustration,' lurks the wit of that celebrated intro- 
duction of Freeman, as ' the historian who had most brill- 
iantly illustrated the barbarous manners of our ancestors.' 

This incongruity must be, as has been said, an unessen- 
tial one, else the mood of the observer changes from hap- 
piness to unhappiness, and the comic becomes the pathetic. 
A fall on the ice which seemed to offer only a ludicrous 
contrast, between the dignity and grace of the man erect 
and the ungainly attitude of the falling figure, ceases utterly 
to be funny when it is seen to entail some physical injury ; 
and wit which burns and sears is not amusing to its victim. 

Bodily Changes in Emotion 285 

The study of these typical impersonal emotions of the 
altruistic type aesthetic delight, enjoyment of intellectual 
harmony and the sense of humor leads us to reaffirm 
the conclusion of our study of sympathy, the adoptive per- 
sonal emotion. It shows us the significance of a widened 
personality and the importance of a relaxed hold on the 
things which concern only the narrow ' myself ' ; it teaches 
us the value of self-objectivation in the apprehension of 
beauty, of logical unity and of harmony, three highways 
of escape from the petty tyrannies of life. 


We have postponed to the end of this chapter the study 
both of the feelings of bodily change, included in emotion, 
and that of the physiological basis of emotion, for both 
subjects are closely related and are full of detail and of 
difficulty. The emotion includes, as we have seen, two 
significant features: the affection or affections, and the 
feelings due to bodily change. The affections are of two 
sorts : first, the immediate affection, which is not always 
present in emotion, and second, the affection condi- 
tioned, as we shall see, by the bodily changes which is 
characteristic of emotion and essential to it. For example : 
I may dislike a very pretty woman. A glimpse of her oc- 
casions therefore an immediate feeling of pleasantness, but 
my dislike of her includes a feeling of unpleasantness, and 
this unpleasantness is the essential affection in the dislike. 

The bodily changes, involved by emotion, are also of two 
main classes. They are : first, internal changes, especially 
changes of heart-beat and arterial pressure, directly con- 
cerned in the circulation of the blood ; and second, the 
movements of head, limbs and trunk, including respiratory 
movements. An emotion of fear, for example, includes 
the consciousness of quickened heart-beat, and may in- 
clude a realization of one's trembling limbs ; the emotion 
of joy includes the sensation of bodily warmth, and may 

286 Bodily Conditions of Affection 

include the consciousness of one's involuntary gesticula- 
tions of delight. We must lay stress on the fact that the 
feelings due to the internal changes, the consciousness of 
heart-beat, of warmth, of cold and the like, are probably 
always a part, even if an unemphasized part, of emotion ; 
whereas the feelings of external changes, of altered breath- 
ing or of actual movements of the body, are frequent, but 
probably not invariable, constituents of emotion. My 
amusement, for example, often includes my consciousness 
of my smile, yet I may be amused without smiling ; and 
though the realization of my dancing feet may be part of 
my emotion of delight, I may yet be happy without dancing. 
We have now to assign a physiological condition for each 
of the distinguishing factors of emotion for both sorts of 
affection, and for both forms of the consciousness of bodily 
change. Affection has already been explained, 1 as con- 
ditioned by the more than adequate or the inadequate reac- 
tion of the frontal lobes of the brain, directly stimulated by 
radiation of nerve impulse, through connecting fibres, from 
the region about the fissure of Rolando, the brain-centre 
of bodily movements and feelings. The series of bodily 
changes is probably the following : when the nervous 
end-organs are excited by any external object, the excita- 
tion is conveyed by ingoing nerves to sensory cells of the 
brain. The excitation of these sensory cells, in whatever 
part of the brain, they are, probably always spreads to the 
brain-centre of bodily feelings and movements, that is, to 
the region forward and back of the fissure of Rolando, and 
there excites motor cells. The excitation of the motor 
cells of the Rolandic region may be carried to the frontal 
lobes, whose reaction occasions pleasantness and unpleas- 
antness. But this affection conditioned by the immediate 
spread of the nerve-excitation from some brain-centre, 
through the Rolandic area, to the frontal lobes is not, as 
we have seen, the sort of pleasantness or unpleasantness 

1 Cf. Chapter IX., pp. 117 stq. 

Circulatory Changes in Emotion 287 

especially characteristic of the emotion. To explain this 
second, essential affection, we must consider that the exci- 
tation of these motor cells, of the Rolandic area, is not only 
often carried forward, but is probably always carried down- 
ward. It is carried in the first place to lower brain-centres 
in the medulla oblongata, which control the unstriped mus- 
cular coatings of inner organs of the body, such as blood- 
vessels, heart and intestines. In this way, internal changes 
are brought about, and among these, the circulatory changes 
are most important : the heart-beat and pulses are checked 
or increased, and the arteries (not the big ones near the 
heart, but the smaller, thin-walled vessels in outlying parts 
of the body), are dilated or constricted, thus occasioning 
either a flush and rising temperature or pallor and chilli- 
ness. The exclamation of an observant old man, who 
figures in a recent novel, suggests that the significance 
of these changes in circulation is commonly recognized. 
"Passions," the old man complains, "are bred out nowa- 
days. I don't believe the next generation will be shook 
to the heart with the same gusts and storms as the last. 
We think smaller thoughts and feel smaller sentiments; 
we're too careful of our skins to trust the giant passions ; 
our hearts don't pump the same great flood of hot blood." 
These internal bodily changes might conceivably be un- 
conscious, but as a matter of fact some of them, at least, 
are felt in our emotional states. This consciousness of 
bodily change is brought about in somewhat the following 
way. The internal changes, such as altered heart-beat or 
pulse, and the skin-changes, occasioned by expanding and 
contracting blood-vessels, stimulate the end-organs of press- 
ure, warmth and cold, in different parts of the body; the 
excitation of these end-organs is carried upward by ingoing 
nerves to the sensory cells of the bodily-feeling-and-move- 
ment-centre (the Rolandic area) ; and the excitation of 
these sensory cells conditions those sensations, due to 
heart-beat, pulse and bodily temperature, which are always 
present in emotional experience. 

288 External Movements in Emotion 

Two constituents of emotion have thus been explained : 
the immediate affection and the feelings of internal bodily 
changes. We are ready now to account for the affection 
characteristic of emotion. The excitation (due to the in- 
ternal bodily changes) of sensory cells in the Rolandic area, 
of course, spreads to the neighboring motor cells, and once 
more is carried from them to the frontal lobes, which react 
vigorously or inadequately, thus conditioning pleasantness 
or unpleasantness. 

But we must not forget that bodily movements of a sec- 
ond sort are characteristic of emotional states. These are 
the external movements of face, trunk, or limbs a smile, 
for example, a laugh (which is a respiratory movement) or 
a clenching of the hands. These movements are immedi- 
ately due to the increased or lessened contraction of the 
striped, or skeletal, muscles attached to the bones of the 
body. And these muscular changes are occasioned in one 
of two ways, either directly by excitation of a second set 
of fibres leading downward from the Rolandic area of the 
brain, or else indirectly by the changes in the blood-supply 
whose origin has just been described. 1 Sometimes, as has 
been said, these external bodily movements stimulate sur- 
face end-organs of pressure, ingoing nerves and sensory 
brain-cells, and one is then conscious of them ; but often 
these external movements are unconscious. 

An emotion is probably therefore conditioned by the 
following cerebral phenomena : often, in the first place, by 
a reaction of the frontal lobes through excitation from any 
sense-centre, by way of Rolandic motor cells ; invariably, 
second, by the functioning of Rolandic sense-cells, due to 
internal bodily changes ; always, third, by an excitation of 
the frontal lobes, due to the spread of excitation from the 
Rolandic sense-cells, by way of motor cells ; and frequently, 
in the fourth place, though not invariably, by the function- 
ing of a second set of Rolandic sense-cells, excited by the 
external bodily movements of head, chest and limbs. The 

1 Cf. Lange, " Uber Gemiiths bewegungen," pp. 41 set/., for defence of the 
latter view. 

Bodily Changes in Emotion 


diagram which follows, takes account of all these facts 
and of their temporal relation, but does not represent the 
relations between the psychic facts : 

290 Bodily Changes in Joy 

This account will be clearer, if we work it out in more 
detail for typical emotions. We may select as illustration 
the bodily conditions of the joy, with which a man hears 
that his dearest friend, who has been for five years absent, 
will reach him in an hour. Of course, no immediate affec- 
tion of pleasantness or unpleasantness accompanies the 
reading of the telegram which brings the news ; for the 
words in themselves are neither agreeable nor disagree- 
able. The bodily conditions of the joy are, therefore: 

First, (a) the spread of excitations from the sense- 
centres, excited by reading the words, to motor cells in the 
Rolandic area ; and (b) the excitation of downward, motor 

Second, stronger heart-beat and pulse, and dilation of 
the smaller arteries which results in bodily warmth and in 
reddening of the skin. 

Third, increased muscular contraction, manifested not 
only by movements of the limbs by hand-clappings and 
leaps of delight but by the rounded face and the smiling 
lips, due to contraction of the facial muscles. 

Fourth, (a) excitation of end-organs of pressure, occa- 
sioned by the internal bodily movements which always 
occur, and by the external muscular contractions when 
they occur ; and (b) the upward spread of these excitations 
to sense-cells of the Rolandic area. The excitation of one 
group of these sense-cells occasions the feelings of internal 
warmth and pressure, which are always a part of the emo- 
tion of joy ; and the excitation of another group of these 
cells, when it occurs, conditions the feelings of external 
movement which often form a part of 'joy.' 

Fifth, the spread of excitations from these Rolandic 
sense-cells, by way of motor cells, to the frontal lobes, fol- 
lowed by the adequate excitation of frontal-lobe cells. 
This vigorous excitation may be explained, at least in part, 
in the following manner : the stronger heart-beat, charac- 
teristic of joy, pumps more blood from the heart, and all 
parts of the body, including the brain, are therefore rela- 

Bodily Changes in Grief 291 

tively well nourished. Furthermore, the deep breathing 
of the joyful state results in the oxidation of the blood, and 
consequently in the better nourishment of all parts of the 

The bodily conditions of the grief, with which one hears 
that one's friend has perished at sea, are, on the other 
hand : 

First, as before, spread of excitation from sense-centres 
to Rolandic motor cells and excitation of downward fibres. 

Second, weaker heart-beat and pulse, and contraction of 
the walls of the arteries. The change in heart-beat and 
in pulse stimulates pressure end-organs ; the change in 
arterial pressure results in bodily chill ; and pallor natu- 
rally follows. (The constriction of blood-vessels in the 
lungs and the consequent insufficient blood-supply may 
also stimulate end-organs, whose excitation indirectly con- 
ditions feelings of suffocation and oppression.) 1 

Third, lessened contraction of the voluntary muscles : 
shallow breathing, drooping eyelids and mouth, slow and 
heavy movements, bowed head, dragging step, hanging 
arms and weakened voice. 

Fourth, excitation of end-organs of pressure, and of sen- 
sory cells in the Rolandic area. 

Fifth, the spread of excitations from these Rolandic 
sense-cells to the frontal lobes, followed by the feeble exci- 
tation of the cells in the frontal lobes. This inadequate 
excitation may be explained, in part, by the weaker heart- 
beat which pumps out less blood into the body, and by the 
shallow breathing which supplies insufficient oxygen. 

Every emotion is some form of happiness or of unhappi- 
ness, or a mixture of the two, hence an account of the phys- 
iological conditions and accompaniments of any given 
emotion must follow, in the main, the account of the con- 
ditions of joy and of sorrow. Hope, for example, is 
conditioned and accompanied by the bodily changes char- 

1 Cf. Lange, op. cit., p. 16. 

292 Bodily Changes in Fear and Hate 

acteristic of joy, only these are less permanent and more 
changeable. The bodily conditions and correlates of fear 
are like those of sorrow, but all the internal organs, and not 
as in sorrow only or chiefly the heart and the blood- 
vessels, are contracted. 1 The bodily changes characteristic 
of fear are, moreover, less coordinated and stable, more 
convulsive and also more intense than those of grief. 
Ordinary language, as Lange has shown, constantly dis- 
closes this difference : one is * bowed down by grief/ but 
' paralyzed ' or ' turned to stone ' by fear, and one is ' silent ' 
in sorrow but ' dumb ' with fear. And, finally, fear more 
often than sorrow is followed by strong muscular con- 
tractions those, for example, involved in flight. 

Hate is another emotion of unhappiness, and has the 
fundamental physiological correlates of unpleasant emo- 
tion : the pallor, recognized by the proverbial expression 
' white with rage,' and the characteristic slowness of move- 
ment. Anger is, on the contrary, in the writer's opinion, 
a mixed emotion, a compound of pleasurable and unpleas- 
ant experience, in which one's dissatisfaction with the 
object of one's wrath is supplemented by a distinct enjoy- 
ment of one's own excitement. The flush of anger is a 
correlate of this pleasurable factor of emotion ; and the 
active movements of passion may be explained in the same 
way or more reasonably, perhaps as a reaction follow- 
ing the emotion. 

Two minor considerations may be urged, in corrobora- 
tion of this general theory of the physiological basis of 
emotion. It satisfactorily explains the fact that pleasant 
experiences beget still other pleasures, that pleasure, in 
other words, is self-propagating. For pleasantness has 
been found to depend on the reaction of well-nourished 
cerebral cells, including Rolandic motor cells, and nutrition 
is due to plentiful blood-supply, and a good circulation 
of the blood depends, in turn, on vigorous pumpings of the 

1 Cf. Lange, op. cit., pp. 22 seq. 

Bodily Changes in Emotion 293 

heart, and these, as we have noted, are the result of the 
reaction of well-nourished motor brain-cells. These physio- 
logical processes, therefore, form a perfect circle, the 
pleasure of one moment being accompanied by cerebral 
processes, which occasion those circulatory changes that 
supply the cells of the brain with the nutrition, required 
for the pleasure-bringing reaction of a later moment. 

Our theory, in the second place, can readily explain the 
fact, that both deep breathing and vigorous movements of 
the limbs are usual accompaniments of joy. For it is 
known that venosity of the blood, supplying the centre of 
reflex movements in the medulla, is the main cause of 
deep breathing ; and this venosity of the blood is occa- 
sioned by its having lost oxygen through vigorous move- 
ments of other muscles. Thus, deep respiration and strong 
movements of the voluntary muscles, both of which, on our 
theory, are correlates of pleasant emotion, are related 

We must not fail to admit that this account of physiolog- 
ical conditions lacks complete and unambiguous experi- 
mental verification, by either physiologist or psychologist. 
The difficulties of experiments on emotional conditions are 
easily understood. It is very hard, in the first place, 
to bring about any genuine emotion under laboratory 
conditions to rouse keen joy or pronounced grief while 
one is encased in apparatus destined to measure the 
bodily processes. Furthermore, the frequent complexity 
of affective experience makes it all but impossible to dis- 
tinguish the conditions of pleasurable feeling from those 
of discomfort. Experimental conditions, for example, 
designed to bring about enjoyment, may arouse the sub- 
ject's apprehension by their very unfamiliarity. And, 
finally, those bodily changes which are the most constant 
conditions of emotion, the excitation of brain-cells and the 
altered pressure of blood in the arteries, are either, as in 
the case of the brain changes, unsusceptible of direct ex- 
amination or else, as in the case of the blood pressure, 

294 So-called Expressions of Emotion 

they are registered with difficulty and inexactness by our 
available apparatus. 

In default of conclusive experiment, and in considera- 
tion of the fact that other accounts of the physiology of 
emotion have been proposed, it is necessary to supplement 
what has been said by a brief consideration of two of 
these other theories. Such of them as regard the physi- 
ology of the affections only have already been discussed, 1 
and need not be reviewed. We have, therefore, in the 
main, to consider alternative theories of the relation of 
emotion to bodily changes : 

The first of these is the conventional theory. It teaches 
that the bodily changes are ' expressions of the emotion/ 
in other words, caused by it ; that is to say, that the emo- 
tion is felt before the occurrence of the bodily phenomena, 
and that it brings them about as its effects or consequents. 
According to this view, one is first afraid, and then one 
grows pale and trembles; one is first jubilant, and then 
one flushes and claps one's hands. This traditional 
theory is disproved in many ways. It is challenged, first 
of all, by our introspective discovery that a consciousness 
of these bodily changes is part of the emotion. Since the 
consciousness of my heart-standing-still and of my chilly 
hands is part of the total experience which I call ' being 
afraid,' the altered heart-beat and the bodily temperature 
cannot be caused by my fear, but must rather be partial 
conditions of it ; and in the same way, my quickened pulse 
and my flushed face must be the condition of the feel- 
ings of pulse-beat and of warmth, which are part of my 

Two further facts, though they do not suffice to prove 
that the bodily changes are never expressions of emotion, 
none the less show definitely that the bodily changes are 
not invariably expressions of emotion. The first of these 

1 Cf. Chapter IX., p. 120 seq. 

Emotion Following on Bodily Change 295 

facts has been emphasized by James. He points out that 
it is often possible to bring about an emotion artificially, 
by mechanically performing the actions characteristic of 
it. "Whistling to keep your courage up," he says, "is 
no mere figure of speech. 1 On the other hand, sit all day 
in a moping posture, sigh, and reply to everything with a 
dismal voice, and your melancholy lingers. There is no 
more valuable precept in moral education than this, as all 
who have experience know : if we wish to conquer unde- 
sirable emotional tendencies in ourselves, we must assidu- 
ously, and in the first instance cold-bloodedly, go through 
the outward movements of those contrary dispositions 
which we prefer to cultivate. The reward of persistency 
will infallibly come, in the fading out of the sullenness or 
depression, and the advent of real cheerfulness and kindli- 
ness in their stead. Smooth the brow, brighten the eye, 
contract the dorsal rather than the ventral aspect of the 
frame, and speak in a major key, pass the genial compli- 
ment, and your heart must be frigid indeed if it do not 
gradually thaw ! " It is true that this is not a perfectly 
certain way of arousing emotion : one's courage does not 
always come at the bidding of a whistle, and one's emotion 
doesn't inevitably follow the line of one's backbone. Yet 
the fact that we are often able to arouse emotion, in this 
way, shows that the usual doctrine is wrong, in supposing 
that bodily attitude or gesture or organic change is neces- 
sarily conditioned by the emotion and sequent upon it. 

The second of the arguments, against the conventional 
theory, is biological in its character. It is based on the 
interesting and probable hypothesis, emphasized by Dar- 
win 2 and by others, that these 'emotional' bodily changes 
are modified survivals of instinctive reactions of animals 
and of primitive men to their environment. The trem- 
bling of fear, for example, is regarded as an instinctive 

1 op. dt., Vol. II., p. 463. 

2 Darwin, " Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals," Chapters 
I.-III. and XIV. Cf. Dewey, Psychological Review, Vol. I., pp. 553 seq. 

296 Instinctive Reactions and Emotional Attitudes 

movement which takes the place of actual flight from the 
enemy; the snarl of hate is a modified survival of the way 
in which an animal uncovers his teeth, in order to tear and 
devour his prey, and the quickened breath of anger is a 
survival of the labored breath of an animal or of a savage, 
in a life and death contest with an enemy. But there is 
every reason to believe that the primitive reactions, of 
which the so-called expressions of emotion are probably 
indeed survivals, must have occurred instantaneously, and 
therefore unconsciously, upon sight or sound or smell of 
the dangerous or hateful object. To suppose a temporally 
distinct emotion of fear, between the antelope's glimpse of 
the tiger and his flight, is to assure the whole race of 
antelopes of destruction. Preservation of animal life, in 
fact, requires what observation establishes, the instanta- 
neous sequence of many bodily movements upon the per- 
cept of the environment. And this shows that an emotion 
has not always preceded the bodily change, which is 
ordinarily named its expression; and that if the move- 
ments were primitively instantaneous and unconscious, 
there is no reason to suppose that an emotion is required 
to occasion them. 

We must therefore abandon the usual way of talking 
about emotion and its bodily expression. For we have 
seen, not only that the bodily movements bring about the 
brain changes which condition emotion, but that the con- 
sciousness of the bodily movements is part of the emotion 
itself. One does not first feel afraid, then turn pale, feel 
one's heart sink and one's limbs tremble, but one's emo- 
tion of fear includes always the consciousness of chill and 
of heart sinking, and often the consciousness of wavering 
knees and shaky hands. Modern psychologists, led by 
William James and by the Danish physiologist, Conrad 
Lange, have successfully combatted this traditional theory 
of emotional expressions. In so doing, they have, how- 
ever, sometimes fallen into an opposite error and have, 
first, treated the bodily changes as entire, and not merely 

The James Lange Theory 297 

partial, bodily conditions of emotion ; and then, second, 
they have defined emotion as nothing more than this con- 
sciousness of bodily changes. (Of course the second of 
these doctrines is not a necessary consequence of the 
first, but the two are combined by James and by Lange.) 
"A man's fright," says Lange, 1 " is only a perception of 
the change in his body." " Our feeling," James declares, 2 
"of the bodily changes as they occur IS the emotion." 
In the opinion of the writer, these statements are clearly 
untrue to our introspective observation. We do, to be 
sure, have experiences, sometimes called by the names of 
the emotions, which are made up solely of the conscious- 
ness of bodily changes. The best example is the experi- 
ence of * being startled ' at a loud sound from which one 
apprehends no danger. One certainly is conscious of 
one's trembling at the banging of a door or at the explo- 
sion of an empty gun, without at the same time having 
any other feelings characteristic of emotion. The writer, 
however, appeals rather confidently, to the reader's intro- 
spection, for confirmation of the view that this experience 
of being startled is radically different from emotional fear; 
and that fear, grief, hope and joy are, as actually felt, 
something more than that awareness of beating heart, 
warmth or cold, and smile or sob, which unquestionably 
forms a part of them. 

The conclusions of this long chapter may be briefly sum- 
marized as follows : Emotion may be regarded either 
(i) as complex fact of consciousness, idea, or (2) as con- 
sciousness of oneself, in passive relation to particularized 
people or things. From either point of view, it is an 
experience which includes pleasantness or unpleasantness 
(or both), and which includes, also, the consciousness of 
bodily phenomena, especially of those due to circulatory 
changes. Its cerebral conditions are probably the follow- 

1 Op. '/., p. 51. 2 op. dt., Vol. II., p. 449. 

298 Emotion 

ing: first changes in sensory Rolandic cells, due to the 
bodily movements already mentioned, and second, the vig- 
orous or weak reaction of the frontal-lobe cells. Emotions 
are first classified as happy or unhappy; they are then 
best described, from the point of view of the conscious 
relation of one self to other selves or to things, as personal 
or impersonal, and as imperious or sympathetic. 



IN the first section of this chapter the discussion will 
be confined, as strictly as possible, to what has been called 
the idea-psychology, that is, we shall consider the succes- 
sion of ideas, and so far as possible keep out of sight the 
selves who have the ideas. We shall thus discuss, not will 
and faith, the relations of self to selves, but volitions and 
beliefs, distinguishable parts in the stream of successive 
consciousnesses. In discussing volitions, we shall follow 
the usual division which distinguishes 'the outer' from 
the ' inner volition,' the volition to act from the volition to 
think, the volition to sign a cheque or to fire a gun or to 
make an electric contact, from the volition to attend to the 
elusive analogy, to remember the forgotten name or to 
work away at the unsolved problem. The outer volition 
will first be discussed. 

The outer volition may be defined, provisionally, as the 
image of an action or of a result-of-action, which normally 
precedes this same act or result. In other words, the voli- 
tion is the image of an action or of a result of action, 
which is normally similar and antecedent to this same 
action or result. My volition to sign a letter is either an 
image of my hand moving the pen or an image of my sig- 
nature already written, and my volition to purchase some- 
thing is an image of myself in the act of handing out money 
or an image of my completed purchase golf stick or 
Barbedienne bronze. 


300 The Outer Volition 

But the volition is more than this bare antecedent image. 
Experience furnishes each of us with countless examples 
of movement preceded by idea of movement, which we 
never think of calling voluntary. I imagine an operatic 
air, for instance, and am surprised to find myself humming 
it, or I listen to an orchestra and my waving fan moves 
unconsciously to the rhythm of the symphony. These are 
instances of movement preceded by idea-of-movement, yet 
nobody calls the antecedent images of operatic air or of 
musical rhythm volitions ; and one names these move- 
ments ideo-motor, not voluntary. For, just as an image of 
the past is not of necessity a recognition, so an antecedent 
image is not of necessity a volition ; and just as the image 
of the past becomes a recognition, only when it is character- 
ized by the factor 'familiarity,' so the antecedent image is 
not a volition, unless it includes a certain realized ' anticipa- 
toriness,' which we may describe roughly as the ' thought of 
a real happening.' The volition is not merely, therefore, 
an image which is later realized as having been anticipa- 
tory : rather, the anticipation is part of the content itself, 
and one is conscious of anticipation in being conscious of a 
volition. That is to say, the complex volitional idea in- 
cludes a conscious reference to a real future linked with 
the present image, somewhat as the recognition includes a 
reference to the past. 

Before we treat of the factors or elements of this feeling 
of anticipation, we must emphasize the chief obstacles to 
this analysis. The first of them is an old difficulty : the 
impossibility of direct experimental verification, since the 
physiological organs of the anticipation-feeling are within 
the brain. The second is the difficulty, which will grow 
more evident as we proceed, of keeping consistently to the 
point of view of idea-psychology. With this proviso, we 
may enumerate, with brief comment, three features of the 
realized anticipatoriness : 

First of them all is the idea of the future, itself highly 
complex. For this idea involves a consciousness of the 

The 'Feeling of Anticipatoriness'' 301 

connection of one moment with other moments. Every 
moment, past and present as well as future, is realized, 
whenever one is conscious of it at all, as that-which-is- 
always-linked-in-two-directions, with its past and with its 
future. But the idea of the future is distinguished, from 
that of past and of present, by lacking the sense of irrevo- 
cableness which belongs to them. Past and present are 
felt to be beyond all control or change, whereas the future 
seems to be relatively undetermined. 

In the second place, the feeling of anticipatoriness, the 
characteristic of every volition, involves the feeling of real- 
ness. This has already been defined as an element of 
consciousness, an irreducible experience. It ' feels like 
itself,' and cannot be described, but it can be indicated 
as distinguishing, for example, my inspection of Gobelin 
tapestries from my image of the richly wrought draperies 
of Tennyson's " Palace of Art." This feeling of realness 
is a very significant part of every volition. The object 
of volition is always a something to be realized : in other 
words, what we will we always will to be real. We may 
recall any volition whatever the determination to hit the 
bull's eye, to snatch the Elzevir edition from rival bidders 
at the book auction, or to resist a temptation to speculation 
and we are sure to find, within the experience, the con- 
sciousness not merely of a future, but of a future real. In 
fact, this is the precise distinction between the volition and 
the wish. The wish, no less than the volition, refers to the 
future, but whereas I may entertain a wish for a castle in 
Spain or for a trip to Mars, I have volitions for such objects 
only as seem to me attainable. 

The feeling of anticipatoriness contains, finally, a con- 
sciousness of the linkage not merely of any present with 
any future, but of this particular event with the future 
reality movement or result of movement. Here is the 
distinction between the volition and the belief of the future 
fact. The difference, between the belief that my market 
man will give me a green goose for my Christmas dinner 

302 Volition and Result 

and the intention that he shall do it, is not in the reference 
to future reality, for that is common to both, but in the 
occurrence, within the volition, of a realized linkage of this 
particular image of mine with the future result. 1 It must 
not be forgotten that we are discussing, not a logical dis- 
tinction, but an actual psychological ingredient of the voli- 
tion. When we are conscious of volition, we are actually 
conscious of a present image linked to an imagined reality. 
The consciousness of realness and of what we have called 
linkage, or connectedness, are actual parts of our experi- 
ence ; we are just as much conscious of them as we are 
conscious of the imagined movement. 

We must, finally, make it very clear to ourselves that a 
volition exists quite independently of any specific result. 
The fact that I am prevented, by bodily incapacity or by 
external circumstance, from carrying out my purpose, 
does not alter the volitional nature of the purpose itself. 
The volition is the image of an act or of its result, in- 
cluding the feeling of anticipation, the consciousness of 
the necessary connection of this definite idea with a future 
real. Its physiological consequence certainly is the excita- 
tion of motor cells and of outgoing fibres. But this ner- 
vous impulse may exhaust itself before the contraction of 
any muscles occurs ; or the contraction may indeed take 
place, but insufficiently ; or, finally, my successful actior 
may miss the needed support of other actions. I may 
address the ball with infinite pains, but top it ingloriously ; 
I may raise the pitch of my voice, but fall short of the high 
C ; or I may sign the paper, but it may not rescue my friend 
from financial ruin. In all these cases, whatever the rea- 
son of external -failure, the volition remains what it is by 
virtue of its essential nature. 

The inner volition may be passed with mere mention. 
It is an antecedent image involving the idea of anticipato- 
riness, that is, the consciousness of its definite connection 

1 Cf. Munsterberg, " Die Willenshandlung," for statement of a different view. 

The Inner Volition 303 

with a future which is real. The future real is, however, in 
this case, another image, not a physical action or situation, 
but a psychic fact. The volitions to remember the forgotten 
name or date, to guess the riddle and to understand the work- 
ing of the intricate mechanism are examples of what we mean 
by inner volitions. Comparing them with outer volitions, it 
is evident that they do not so closely resemble their results. 
The volitional image of an act may be, in detail, like the act 
as performed ; but the object of inner volition is itself an 
image, and to have an anticipatory image of an image, pre- 
cisely similar to it yet not identical with it, is impossible. 
Inner volitions may, therefore, be defined as anticipatory 
images, including the idea of linkage with a future real, and 
normally followed by partially similar images, not by acts. 

Both outer and inner volitions are further distinguished 
as either simple volitions or choices. The difference is 
this : in the case of the choice, a fluctuation of opposing 
images precedes the volition itself. This distinction will be 
illustrated in a later section of this chapter ; but it is well 
to notice here that there is no difference, at the moment of 
volition, between the simple volition and the choice. Each 
is an antecedent image realized as 'anticipatory.' The 
difference is merely that the choice is preceded by the 
restless, shifting fluctuation of alternating images. 

It should be added that volition always includes some 
consciousness of bodily movements. In outer volition, the 
movement is toward the outer object or act which one wills : 
one finds one's fingers moving to a tune or one's eyes turned 
in the purposed direction. Even in inner volition the 
effort, for example, to solve the problem or to remember the 
forgotten date one is apt to wrinkle one's forehead, to 
clench one's fingers or to hold one's breath. Psychologists 
have sometimes mistaken this vague consciousness of bodily 
movements, for an elemental and unanalyzable conscious- 
ness which they have called 'conation' or 'volition.' 1 

1 For criticism of this view, cf. Titchener, " Outline," 37. 

304 The Belief 


The relation of the belief to the volition has already been 
suggested. The belief is an idea which contains the feel- 
ing of realness, and which refers to another idea or to an 
event. In these respects, it is like the volition, but it differs 
from the volition in three particulars : in the first place, it 
does not necessarily contain a reference to the future. One 
may believe a past or a present as well as a future event, 
as when, for example, one believes that the Egyptians fought 
at Carchemish, or that some one is at the front door. In 
the second place, when the belief does refer to the future, 
it lacks the consciousness of the linkage of this especial 
image with the future. My belief that dinner will be 
served at seven differs from my volition that it shall be 
served, because the belief lacks, what the volition has, a 
sense that this antecedent image has a certain bearing on 
the result which will follow. 

The belief, finally, differs from the volition by a more 
positive characteristic. In the belief, the feeling of real- 
ness always attaches itself to the relational feeling of har- 
mony, or congruence. Nothing seems ' real ' to us which 
does not also seem harmonious. It follows that beliefs, 
complex contents of consciousness containing the feeling 
of realness, are of the most varied sort, but that they all 
agree in being realized as congruent. When our percepts 
are called 'real/ by contrast with our images, they are 1 
known as harmonious both with other people's experience 
and with each other : the clock-tower which I see accords 
with the heavy railway station which supports it, the cam- 
panile which I imagine is contradicted by every architec- 
tural feature of this New England town ; the electric bells 
which I hear are congruent with the habitual experiences 
of the city streets, the strains of Gounod's Sanctus which 
I imagine are unrelated with my entire surroundings. 

1 James, " Principles," Vol. II., p. 300. 

The Belief as ' Congruent ' 305 

From this it follows that a given idea may seem from 
one point of view real and from another unreal, according 
as it is compared with one set of facts or with another. 
James has brilliantly illustrated this truth under the head- 
ing " The Many Worlds of Reality," and has suggested 
seven such worlds, 1 including the worlds of sense, of 
science, of abstract truths, of fiction and of individual 
opinion. The motion of the sun, which is real in the sense- 
world, is thus unreal in the world of science; Goethe's 
Lotte, though unreal in the sense-world, is so real in the 
world of poetry, that we sharply contrast with her Thack- 
eray's parodied Charlotte, whom we unhesitatingly pro- 
nounce unreal. And these distinctions mean merely, that 
the motion of the sun is a phenomenon, congruent with the 
facts of our everyday observation sunrises, moons and 
twilights but contradicted by the Copernican conception, 
of our earth and the other planets of our system, in revolu- 
tion about the sun ; and that the romantic Lotte is a figure 
congruent with the life and environment of Goethe's Wer- 
ther, whereas Thackeray's prosaic Charlotte is utterly 
unrelated to the Werther world of Goethe's creation. 

The belief is, thus, an idea distinguished both by the feel- 
ing of realness and by the feeling of congruence. Beliefs, 
like volitions, may be 'inner' or 'outer,' that is, they may 
refer to ideas or to external events, and they may be de- 
liberative or simple, that is, they may or may not be pre- 
ceded by a fluctuation of alternative images. 


We have so far proceeded on the basis of idea-psychology, 
that is, we have regarded volition and belief, each as the 
idea of a particular moment, connected with the other ideas 
which make up the stream of consciousness, and without 

1 op. tit., Vol. n., p. 292. 

2 The discussion which follows is in substance, and sometimes verbally, iden- 
tical with that of a paper, by the writer, in the Philosophical Review, IX., 490. 


306 Will and Faith 

definite reference to any self or selves. But this treatment, 
of the consciousness which we ordinarily call willing or 
choosing or determining, must strike every one as a little 
forced and artificial. The experience of aiming at a target 
or selecting a book or adhering to a creed is more naturally 
expressed by the words, ' I will, I choose, I believe,' than 
by the parallel statements, ' a volition a choice a be- 
lief.' In other words, just as we have not merely ' per- 
cept ' and 'image' and 'general notion' but 'perceiving' 
and 'imagining' and 'thinking,' so we have not only 'voli- 
tion' and 'belief but 'will' and 'faith.' One and the 
same experience may, therefore, be regarded as an idea in 
a series, relatively distinct from a self, or it may be regarded 
as an attitude or relation of a self. 

Our first question is this : how are will and faith, 
regarded as relations or attitudes of a self, distinguished 
from emotion, thought and perception ? The difference 
seems to be this : perception, imagination, thought and 
emotion are, in a sense, passive experiences, whereas will 
and faith are recognized as active. There is no need to 
justify the statement that perception is a passive experience, 
for everybody admits that we cannot help seeing and hear- 
ing and smelling, that is, that we have no direct control of 
perceptual consciousness. It is evident, also, that we are 
victims of memory and imagination. Insignificant word- 
series repeat themselves with wearisome iteration, gruesome 
scenes thrust themselves upon us, and bitter experiences 
unroll themselves before our unwilling eyes. It is not so 
obvious that thought is a passive experience : on the other 
hand, it is often regarded as active, in contrast with per- 
ception as passive. But closer observation will disclose 
that thought, like imagination and memory, can be called 
active only when combined, as it often is, with will. In and 
for itself, comparison or generalization or judgment is as 
unavoidable as perception or memory ; and the truths of 
geometry thrust themselves upon us with as firm a front as 
the things of the sense-world. Emotion, finally, is com- 

Will 307 

monly recognized as a passive sort of consciousness, in 
which we are influenced by people and things, a prey to 
them, ' prostrate beneath them,' as Goethe somewhere 

Sharply contrasted with these passive relations of the 
self with perception, thought, emotion and the others, 
are two supremely active experiences, will and faith. 

a. WILL 

Will is a consciousness of my active connection with 
other selves or with things, an imperious relation, a domi- 
neering mood, a sort of bullying attitude. It is thus dis- 
tinctly untrue that we stand in the will-relation to people 
or to things, only when some bodily change or activity is 
the object of our will. To be sure, that effect on the acts 
of others is the inevitable and most practically significant 
accompaniment of will ; but not only may external condi- 
tions prevent any action of another, in accordance with my 
will, but I may not even contemplate any such action on 
his part, yet I am actively related toward him, if I inwardly 
assert him to be subordinate to me, a means to my self- 
realization. Similarly, I may not have in mind any specific 
change to be brought about in my material environment, yet 
I am actively, assertively, related to it, if I am conscious 
of my superiority and my independence of it, or if I con- 
ceive of it as existing mainly for my own use or gratification. 

Every leader or captain among men is thus an embodi- 
ment of will : his domain may be great or small, spirit- 
ual or physical, civil or literary ; he may be king or shoe- 
maker, archbishop or machinist, inventor or novelist ; 
whatever his position, if he consciously imposes himself 
on others, if he moulds to his ideals their civic functions, 
their forms of worship or their literary standards, their elec- 
trical furnishings or even their boots, he stands to them 
in the relation of imperious, domineering, willing self. 

The rebel and the stoic are even more striking embodi- 

308 Stoicism and Rebellion 

ments of the will-relation than the mere leaders of men. 
For stoicism and rebellion are instances of imperiousness, 
in the face of great or even overwhelming natural odds, 
assertions of one's independence in the very moment of 
opposition or defeat. The stoic, in spite of his conviction 
that apparent success is with his opponent, is unflinching 
in the assertion of his own domination. " I am like the 
promontory," he declares, " against which the waves con- 
tinually break, but it stands firm and tames the fury of the 
water around it." The rebel, in Promethean mood, defies 
the very gods who are torturing him. " Can you tear me 
from myself," he challenges. "They ask to share with 
me," he cries again, "and I will give them naught." 1 

It is this attitude of mind, not any specific direction 
of consciousness toward a definite result, which consti- 
tutes what we call will, in the most intimate meaning of 
that word : a realization of one's independence of people 
and of things, a sense more or less explicit, of the subordi- 
nation of one's environment to one's own use, active or 
spiritual, such a possession of one self as is, in its complet- 
est development, a subjugation of every outlying circum- 
stance and of every opposing self. In this broadest sense, 
will may be the very heart of defeat, as the splendid 
defiance of this modern outburst of the stoic mood makes 
evident : 

" Out of the night that covers me, 

Black as the pit from pole to pole, 
I thank whatever gods may be 

For my unconquerable soul. 

1 Cf. Goethe's " Prometheus " : 

Prometheus. Vermocht Ihr zu scheiden 

Mich von mir selbst? 

* * * * 
Epimetheus. Wie vieles ist da dein? 
Prometheus. Der Kreis den meine Wirksamkeit erfullt 

Sie wollen mit mir theilen, und ich meine 
Dass ich mit ihnen nichts zu theilen habe. 

'Impersonal' Will 309 

u In the fell clutch of circumstance 

I have not winced nor cried aloud. 
Under the bludgeonings of chance 
My head is bloody, but unbowed. 

" Beyond this place of wrath and tears 

Looms but the Horror of the shade. 
And yet the menace of the years 
Finds and shall find me unafraid. 

" It matters not how strait the gate, 

How charged with punishments the scroll, 
I am the master of my fate : 
I am the captain of my soul." 

There are two fundamental forms of will, simple will 
and choice, that is, will after deliberation. Deliberation 
is the fluctuation of tendencies or directions of one's self- 
assertiveness, a sort of clashing and warring of different 
self-activities. We shall later illustrate it, and consider it 
in more detail. 

Will, it should be noted, is originally, like all conscious- 
ness, personal, a relation of self to other selves. Later, 
however, when we have made the distinction between 
selves, on the one hand, and things and feelings on the 
other, these psychic and physical facts, also, are thought 
of as subordinated to the willing self. The most funda- 
mental formulation, of this imperious tendency in rela- 
tion to external things, is the anthropocentric theory of 
nature. This doctrine regards nature as existing solely 
for man, and explains natural phenomena merely by show- 
ing how they subserve man's interests. Animals, it 
teaches, live to furnish man food and clothes and sport, 
the earth revolves to afford him darkness in which to sleep, 
sunsets and oceans and birds of paradise exist to provide 
him means of aesthetic pleasure, and cork trees grow, as 
Hegel suggests in scornful paraphrase, to furnish corks 
for his wine bottles. In a word, the universe is regarded 
solely as ' owing man a living,' and is pronounced satis- 
factory, in so far as it fulfils this obligation. 

310 The Analysis of Will 

We have now to analyze into its elements will, as active 
relation of a self to other selves and to things. The 
analysis will be parallel, except in one particular, with the 
analysis of a volition into its elements. Will, the active 
relating of one self to another, certainly includes the con- 
sciousness of reality and the consciousness of the linkage 
of subordinated self or thing to imperious self. But, in so 
far as will is a relation of self to other selves, it does not 
necessarily include a consciousness of time. This follows 
from the truths already emphasized, that the consciousness 
of selves does not primarily take account of time, whereas 
the consciousness of a temporal order is fundamental to 
idea-psychology, the study of the series of connected ideas. 
We may, however, and often do, regard will from a com- 
bination of both points of view, that of self-psychology 
and that of idea-psychology, and may treat it as imperious 
attitude of the self to future event, inner or outer. Such 
a future event is seized upon, emphasized and dominated 
by the willing self. This form of willing includes all the 
elements of volition, the feeling of futurity, as well as the 
consciousness of realness and of linkage. Its two forms 
are the will to act and the will to know. 

The will to act consists in the compelling relation, the 
dominating, active attitude of a self, toward an imaged, 
outer event. This imaged event or situation is, of course, 
no private affair of one's own, but a ' public,' shared, com- 
municable experience. In other words, the will to do is 
an explicitly social experience, an imperious relation to 
other people's perception. The will to hit the target, to 
secure the book, or to march at the head of one's legions 
always involves the consciousness of the onlooking other 
selves, and is always, thus, an imposition of oneself upon 

The will to know, to remember or to attend is a similar 
domination of the inner or psychic event. Both the will 
to know and the will to act may, furthermore, be distin- 
guished as either simple or deliberative. 

The Nature of Faith 311 


Faith, as distinct from will, is an adopting or acknowledg- 
ing, not an imperious, demanding phase of consciousness, 
laying emphasis not on myself but on the ' other self.' In 
the attitude of will, I subordinate others to myself ; in that 
of faith or loyalty, I submit myself to others. In the mood 
of will, I am ' captain of my soul ' ; in my faith, I acknowl- 
edge another leader. Yet faith, like will, is an active, not 
a passive, attitude of one self to other selves. It is no 
emotional sinking beneath the force of opponent or envi- 
ronment but a spontaneous, self-initiated experience, the 
identification of oneself with another's cause, the throwing 
oneself into another's life, or the espousal of another's 
interests. Men of faith have always, like the heroes of 
Hebrew history, " subdued kingdoms, wrought righteous- 
ness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions," and 
this, through the active identification of themselves with 
great selves, great ideals and great theories. 

Primarily, of course, this attitude of acknowledgment 
and adoption is a relation to other selves. And it is in 
this form only that we call it faith. When, later, the no- 
tions of external thing and of event, outer or inner, are 
gained, our adoption of these is called no longer faith but 
belief. A man has faith in his father, his teacher, his 
business associate, his God ; he believes the efficacy of the 
gold standard, the doctrine of evolution, the dogma of the 
inspiration of the Bible. The difference between this term 
* belief ' (used without the article), as describing a relation 
of selves to events or to doctrines, and the term ' a belief,' 
which refers to the belief-idea, should be carefully marked. 

This doctrine of faith is most often obscured by confus- 
ing it with the bare consciousness of reality. A certain 
consciousness of reality is, it is true, essential to the active 
attitude toward selves and toward things, that is, both to 
faith and to will. But the mere awareness of reality is a 
very subordinate part of the experience of faith, or belief, 

312 Faith and the Conviction of Reality 

despite the fact that it is chief constituent of beliefs, 
regarded as mere ideas. Faith is always an active, per- 
sonal attitude toward another self ; belief is always an ac- 
tive, personal attitude toward things, events or truths ; and 
both faith and belief involve, but are not exhausted by, a 
consciousness of the realness of selves or of things. 

It is interesting to notice that the opposite confusion of 
terms sometimes occurs, that is to say, that the conscious- 
ness of realness is sometimes described as if it were a 
personal attitude. So James says : that the " quality of 
reality is a relation to our life. It means our adoption of 
things, our caring for them, our standing by them." And 
with a similar suggestion, Baldwin 2 speaks of our ' personal 
endorsement ' of reality. 

The relation between faith and the mere awareness of 
reality is most often discussed on an ethical basis. We 
receive, from great teachers of righteousness, fervid exhor- 
tations to have faith and to believe. But still other teach- 
ers warn us, as solemnly, that it is alike irrational and 
immoral to proclaim an obligation to hold opinions. These 
moralists insist that it is meaningless to assert the ethical 
superiority of one idea to another, and they teach that the 
alleged duty, to hold this or that view of reality, is in oppo- 
sition to the only intellectual obligation unswerving hon- 
esty in investigation. 

This revolt against the 'duty to believe' would be 
justified, if it did not presuppose a wrong interpretation 
of the exhortations to faith. The truth is, that the great 
moral teachers always regard faith as personal acknowl- 
edgment of great selves and of great personal ideals. 
Such acknowledgment may involve, it is true, a certain 
consciousness of reality, and is never possible toward self 
or toward cause which is held as definitely unreal. On 
the other hand, such a personal acknowledgment does 
not presuppose any reasoned conclusion or any philo- 

1 Op. '/., Vol. II., p. 569. 2 " Feeling and Will," p. 158. 

Classified tion 3 1 3 

sophic conviction about reality, and may even exist along 
with an unemphasized or a fluctuating consciousness of 
the reality of the self or the cause, with which one allies 
oneself. The duty to have faith is always, therefore, the 
obligation to identify oneself with the persons or the 
causes which seem the highest ; and the exhortation to faith 
is always, on the lips of the great teachers, an incentive to 
loyalty. Thus, the New Testament commands to believe 
emphasize, always, the need or the duty of an affirming, 
consenting, personal attitude toward a divine self, and do 
not require that one hold an opinion about him ; and the 
great creeds, also, are expressions of a personal relation. 
For, from this point of view, a conception of the duty of faith 
may clearly be held, since personal relations, not convic- 
tions of reality, are the objects of obligation, and since faith 
is the active, adoptive relation of one self with another. 


We are ready now to consider, in more detail, the differ- 
ent forms of these experiences which, regarded from one 
point of view, are called will and faith, whereas, from the 
other standpoint, they are known as volitions and beliefs. 

Our discussion will follow the course of the following 
classification : 


I. Will to Act I. Outer Volition 

(and Belief). a. Simple. (and the Belief). 

1 . With resident end. 

2. With remote end. 
b. Choice. 

1. Without effort. 1 

2. With effort. 1 

II. Will to Know II. Inner Volition 

(and Belief), a. Simple. (and the Belief) 

b. Choice. 

1. Without effort. 

2. With effort. 

1 With resident or with remote end. 

314 Simple Will and Choice 

The chief distinction which is found, between the forms 
of the active relations of one self to other selves, is that 
between the simple will-relation and the choice. In addi- 
tion, we shall consider only the will to act and the will to 
know, which are will-relations of selves to things and 
events, not to other selves. We shall not, on the other 
hand, attempt a formal scheme of the delicately varying 
relations of self to selves. 

In discussing volitions, we found them distinguished as 
' outer ' and ' inner,' and in considering the imperious rela- 
tion of a self to things and events, we contrasted the will to act 
with the will to know. A similar division may be made, 
we observed, among beliefs or forms of belief. This distinc- 
tion we shall now illustrate and discuss in greater detail. 

Outer volition, or the will to act, may be either a con- 
sciousness of bodily movement or a consciousness of the 
result of movement. In the expression of James, it may 
be of the ' resident ' or of the ' remote ' end. It is thus a 
consciousness of straining muscle or of moving hand, or 
else a consciousness of the effect of these movements, of 
the note to be sounded, the button to be fastened, or the 
outline to be drawn. This consciousness of the remote 
end may be visual, auditory, or, in fact, of any sense-type 
whatever. The movements necessary to gain this remote 
end are, however, not voluntary but merely reflex, since 
the image, which precedes them, is of result not of move- 
ment. This conclusion accords with the certainty, 1 that 
a given bodily movement, without preceding image, may 
be performed, not only with entire unconsciousness (as 
an unconscious reflex), but with accompanying, though 
not antecedent, consciousness (as a conscious reflex). The 
movements, by which a * remote end ' is attained, be- 
long to either class of reflex acts, that is, they are either 
unconscious or conscious, but they are involuntary. A 
man's volition, for example, is to reach the railway station, 

1 Cf. Appendix, Section VI. 

Resident and Remote End 315 

and involuntarily he breaks into a run toward it ; he has 
a visual consciousness of the platform, which means that 
a centre in his occipital lobe is excited ; this excitation 
spreads along fibres which lead to the Rolandic centres of 
leg-muscle activity, and by the excitation of these centres 
his movements of running are excited. He is conscious 
of the running, but only after it has begun, and he is even 
unconscious of some of the leg-contractions involved in 
the running. His definite volition-image is merely ' rail- 
road station/ not ' movement of running ' ; or, in terms of 
self-psychology, he actively relates himself to the railroad 
station, not to his leg-muscles, and the movements follow 
as reflexes, without being specifically willed. 

In truth, the development of the life of consciousness 
always tends to suppress the direct motor volitions. Al- 
most all bodily movements are better executed when our 
aim is directed toward the result to which they lead, that 
is to say, when the object of volition or of will is an ' outer 
object,' not an imaged bodily movement. A reduction in 
the number of one's detailed voluntary movements is thus 
a work of psychic advancement : only the amateur musician 
needs to decide the exact curve of his finger, only the 
child thinks how he will twist the obstinate button. 

A still more fundamental distinction applying equally 
to inner volition, or the will to know, and to outer volition, 
or the will to act is that between the simple volition (or 
willing) and the choice, the volition (or willing) after de- 
liberation. As has been said, the essential feature of this 
situation is a fluctuation of experiences. From the stand- 
point of idea-psychology, this fluctuation is of images ; from 
the standpoint of self-psychology, it is a fluctuation of dif- 
ferent active attitudes of one self toward other selves or 
things. I choose, let us say, to hear Tannhaiiser instead of 
Lohengrin, but my choice is preceded by what is called 
deliberation, a sort of mental see-saw of Tannhaiiser and 
Lohengrin consciousness : now the 'Pilgrim Chorus ' sounds 

316 Simple Will and Choict 

clear and sweet in my imagination, but its music is drowned 
by that of the bridal music ; again, the swan-boat is vivid 
before me, but it is blotted out by a vision of the festival 
scene. The whole experience is attended by feelings of 
perplexity and unrest, the characteristic discomfort of 
* making up one's mind.' 

The alternating images are not always of the definite 
ends of action. The imaged accompaniments and results 
of these rival acts may play leading roles in my delibera- 
tion. If I am deciding between a year of travel and a 
year of graduate study, the thought of the culture which 
may come from travel will be confronted by a reflection 
on the definite attainments of the university courses. If I 
am wavering between a new rug and a set of books, the 
vision of my glorified floor will be crowded out by an 
image of the tooled leather backs of the Moliere volumes, 
in a prominent corner of my bookshelves. That is to say 
in terms now of the consciousness of self I relate my- 
self, now to one, now to another of these rival images. 

The great dramatists lay bare before us the crises of 
deliberation in their heroes' lives. A classic example is 
the conflict of pity and honor with patriotism and personal 
ambition in the heart of Achilles' son, Neoptolemos, face 
to face with the sufferings of the hero, Philoctetes, whom 
he may betray for his own gain and for the interest of the 
Hellenes, or save and befriend for loyalty's and for friend- 
ship's sake. Another illustration is found in the soliloquies 
of Hamlet, in whom 

" the native hue of resolution 
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought." 

Sometimes, as in the experience of Hamlet and of Werther, 
the deliberation is never concluded, but becomes a fixed 
habit of irresolution, a perpetual vacillation. Normally, 
however, it is ended by the decision, or choice. The 
choice, it will be remembered, may be regarded from two 
points of view. In terms of idea-psychology, it is that one 

Choice witfwut Effort 317 

of the alternating images to which, finally, the feeling of 
anticipatoriness is attached. Thus, the image of himself, 
as conquerer of the Trojans, gives place in the mind of 
Neoptolemos to the image of his father's friend, the in- 
jured Philoctetes, rejoicing to regain his bow ; and this 
last image, supplemented by a consciousness of necessary 
connection with a real future, is a volition, not a mere 
antecedent image. Or, to translate into terms of self-psy- 
chology, Neoptolemos no longer vacillates between the 
imperious and the loyal attitudes toward Philoctetes, but 
definitely acknowledges and adopts the interests of the 
wounded Greek. 

In considering the different sorts of choice, we shall do 
well to follow the lead of James, distinguishing 'choices 
without effort ' from ' choices with effort.' For idea- 
psychology, the difference is simply this : in the choice 
without effort, the victorious volition, or will, drives its rival 
off the field, whereas, in the choice with effort, a man 
chooses one alternative in full view of the other. The 
choice without effort, however prolonged and restless the 
deliberation which has preceded, is an easy choice, because 
at the exact time of making it no other act or result is 

The choice without effort usually conforms with our 
habits of thought, inclination and action. I am deliberat- 
ing, let us suppose, whether to eat the green bon-bon or 
the pink. The green one is larger, but the pink one is 
prettier ; the green one looks as if had nuts in it, but the 
pink one looks as if it were creamy. So far I am unde- 
cided, but now the green suggests pistachio, which I do not 
like, and at once, quite without effort, I choose the pink. 
Or I am trying to decide whether or not to buy this vol- 
ume of Swinburne. The paper is poor and the print is 
fine, but the price is low and the poems are complete. " I 
really must have it," I say to myself. " But the print is 
impossible," I reflect. My indecision, however prolonged, 
is ended by the discovery that the book is an unauthorized 

318 Choice without Effort 

American reprint. Now I long since decided to buy only 
authorized editions of English books, and my actual de- 
cision, to reject the book, is made without effort, that is, 
without even a thought of the advantage of the book. 

When confronted, therefore, with what seems a new 
decision, it is wise, as James has taught, to consider its 
relation to former choices, to fundamental inclinations and 
to habitual actions. The result of such a ' classification,' 
as James calls it, is usually a decision without effort. An 
action, clearly realized as essential to the fulfilment of a 
choice already made, will promptly be chosen. The advan- 
tage of what the old psychologies called ' governing choices ' 
is precisely this, that they make ' subordinate choices ' 
easy. When, for instance, I have chosen a college or a 
society, I have limited the range of my subordinate choices, 
and I can no longer consider seriously courses of study 
which my college does not recognize. One of the reasons 
why it is so necessary to make these inclusive, governing 
choices is simply, therefore, that one may economize the 
time and energy required by deliberation. For the same 
reason, the more developed the consciousness, the fewer 
always are the decisions. Just as the acts at first per- 
formed with definite purpose become mere reflexes, so 
actions once performed by deliberate choice tend to follow 
from simple volitions. When I am reading, for instance, 
in an utterly desultory way, I may have to choose between 
" Eleanor " and " Unleavened Bread," but if I have en- 
tered on a " Modern Italy " course of reading, I take the 
first without hesitating, whereas if I am studying American 
society, I turn to the second. 

The choice with effort is not, of necessity, preceded 
by longer or more painful deliberation (that is, vacillating 
consciousness) than the effortless choice. The essential 
difference is simply this, that the choice is made with full 
consciousness of the neglected alternative. " Both alter- 
natives," James says, " are steadily held in view, and in the 
very act of murdering the vanished possibility, the chooser 

Choice with Effort 319 

realizes how much he is making himself lose." George Eliot 
has suggested this experience in the story of Romola's 
meeting with Savonarola, as she sought to escape from 
Tito and from Florence. " She foresaw that she should 
obey Savonarola and go back. His arresting voice had 
brought a new condition to her life, which made it seem 
impossible to her that she could go on her way as if she 
had not heard it; yet she shrank as one who sees the path 
she must take, but sees, too, that the hot lava lies there." 1 

This book follows the usage of James in making the 
term ' effort ' describe simply the ' unhappy experience 
of fluctuating consciousness.' The word, however, is used 
by others, with at least two other meanings. It is sometimes 
employed as synonym for ' conation/ to designate the 
alleged element of consciousness which is found in voli- 
tion. It is also used, by Titchener 2 and by others, for the 
complex consciousness of the bodily movements which ac- 
company all volition. 

It must be added that the accounts of deliberation, for- 
mulated in terms of the psychology of ideas, are far less 
convincing, that is, less adequate, than descriptions of de- 
liberation as opposition of distinct tendencies of a self. 
Such doctrines of conflicting ideas often, indeed, win their 
credence, because we unconsciously add to the conception 
of alternating ideas the more fundamental one of warring 
self-activities. We may illustrate this from our former 
examples. We do not naturally represent to ourselves the 
struggle of Neoptolemos, as a mere fluctuation of images, 
a picture of himself, the triumphant possessor of the 
bow of Philoctetes, striding as victor through the walls 
of Troy, alternating with a picture of Philoctetes, calmed 
and consoled, the holder of his own bow. We rather 
think of this deliberation, as a struggle between will the 
tendency to subordinate Philoctetes despoiled of his weap- 
ons and faith the loyal acknowledgment of the rights 

1 Italics, mine. 2 Cf. " Outline," 37. 

3 2 o Deliberation 

of Philoctetes and the active adoption of his cause. 
Romola's deliberation, also, is essentially the vibration be- 
tween these two fundamental tendencies toward self-asser- 
tion and self-effacement, toward the satisfaction of her 
own craving for a new life and the acknowledgment of a 
higher authority than her own desire. Both these are 
instances of an alternation, not between one willing tendency 
and another, but a fluctuation between will and faith, the 
egoistic and altruistic tendencies, the imperious and the 
acknowledging moods, the decision to lose one's life for 
another's sake or to save it. 

Deliberation may, furthermore, be a struggle of faith 
with faith. Antigone's loyal love for her brother in op- 
position to her obedience to the state, the jealousy of 
Brutus, for Rome, rising up against his grateful love to 
Caesar, Robert Lee's allegiance to his state in conflict with 
his love for the Union, are classic examples of an ex- 
perience to which nobody is a stranger. A final form of 
deliberation is the conflict of will with will, the alternating 
impulses to subordinate now one, now another, person or 
thing to oneself, for example, to possess oneself of this 
object or of that, to suppress this inclination or that other. 

The most strenuous deliberations of all these types are 
those of the moral life : the fluctuations between good and 
evil, right and wrong, desire and obedience. Lifelike 
descriptions of deliberation are, for this reason, almost 
always accounts of moral choices. Of this fact, the dram- 
atists and the novelists give abundant illustration ; and 
even on the pages of the moralists, one may find vivid sug- 
gestions of the warring of personal tendencies in delibera- 
tion. " I see another law in my members," St. Paul 
exclaims, "warring against the law of my mind." "Clearly 
there is," says Aristotle, "beside Reason, some other 
natural principle which fights with and strains against it." 



FROM the conception of psychology as study of related 
selves, it follows that every concrete social relation may be 
the basis of a psychological study : my relation to this 
friend and to that, to brother or father or wife or child, 
to my employer or to my cook every one, indeed, of the 
relations, in which my life consists, may be reflected on, 
analyzed and explained after this manner of the psycholo- 
gist. The truth is, however, that a very healthy instinct 
prevents us, ordinarily, from this sort of analysis of our 
personal relations. We are too deeply absorbed, in living 
the relations, to reflect about them from the dispassionate 
scientist's point of view. We hesitate, and rightly, to 
pluck out the heart of our own mysteries; we prefer to 
love and to have faith, to sympathize and to enjoy, to com- 
mand and to yield, without rendering up to ourselves a 
balanced account of our attitude to other people. But 
though we rarely expose our own experience to the dissect- 
ing knife of the psychologist, there is yet no reason why 
the text-book in psychology, in so far as it treats of the 
relations of selves, should not supply the lack of scientific 
analysis in our own lives, by furnishing us with a series 
of studies of typical, personal relations studies, for ex- 
ample, of the filial, the fraternal or the civic relation, or 
even more general studies, after the fashion of Hegel's 
analysis of typical moods of youth the romantic, the 

Y 321 

322 Typical Personal Relations 

Quixotic and the Byronic. But there is a practical reason 
why the text-book on psychology does not, ordinarily, 
include such studies of typical and universal relations. 
The novel and the drama have already usurped this func- 
tion of the psychological treatise, and just because their 
characters, however typical, are also particular and highly 
individual, therefore, the psychology of novel or of drama 
is more absorbing and closer to life, than that of any 
treatise. It follows that the novel has become, in some 
degree, the popular introduction to psychology. For just 
as it is true of beauty that 

" we're made so that we love 

First when we see them painted, things we have passed 
Perhaps a hundred times nor cared to see, " 

so we may first have taken notice of our own tendencies 
and attitudes, as embodied in a Shakespearian courtier or in 
one of George Eliot's scholars. 

The novel or drama is, of course, a study in the psychol- 
ogy of personal relations only. With the enumeration of 
structural elements of consciousness and the assignment of 
each to a physiological condition, it is only incidentally con- 
cerned ; but the complexity and richness of the relations of 
its dramatis persona are the very soul of it. The interest of 
a Shakespeare play does not centre in the scene the 
witches' heath or the field of Agincourt nor in the rhythm 
and melody of the verses, but in the developing and con- 
trasting relations of the central figures to each other and to 
the lesser characters. Thus, the plays of which King 
Henry the Fifth is hero are a study of a youth of promi- 
nently active nature, in whom the emotions are undevel- 
oped and unaccentuated. The love scene is sufficient 
proof of this: King Henry complains that he 'has 'no 
genius in protestation,' and that he " cannot look greenly 
nor gasp out his eloquence,'' but though he doubtless him- 
self believes that he lacks only expression, the discriminat- 
ing reader realizes that he is not capable of deep emotion, 

The Religious Consciousness 323 

and that even while he laughs and plays pranks with Falstaff, 
and makes love to Kate, he is never carried out of himself, 
never a prey to feeling, in a word, never in passive emo- 
tional relation to anybody, even to his sweetheart. Always, 
therefore, on the battlefield or in the court of love, he is 
the plain soldier, actively and imperiously related to men, 
whether he hand them their death warrants or give them 
his gloves as favors, whether he boast of his army's prow- 
ess or hearten his soldiers in their discouragement. 

So to take a very different example " Red Pottage" 
is not primarily a story of certain tragic happenings. The 
plot, to tell the truth, strikes most of us as melodramatic 
and unessential, and we forget it promptly. The book is 
significant mainly because it introduces to us two charac- 
ters, and because it lays bare their relations to other people. 
These characters, alike for all the difference of costume and 
setting, are Lady Newhaven who rehearses every situ- 
ation with herself as central figure, who regards every 
person as minister to her desires or as foil to her charms, 
and who treats every incident as stage-accessory and Mr. 
Gresley, who occupies the foreground of all his own can- 
vases, and who never looks at any event or thing or person 
from any other than his own self-centred point of view. 

But though, for the most part, we are content to leave in the 
hands of dramatist and of novelist the treatment of concrete 
personal relations, there is one such relation so universal, 
so significant and so misapprehended, that we shall venture 
to consider it. This is the relation of human to divine self. 


Many definitions of the religious consciousness may be 
found, but simplest and most adequate, in the opinion of 
the writer, is the conception of religion as the conscious re- 
lation of the human self to a divine self, that is, to a self re- 
garded as greater than this human self or any of its fellows. 

If there were space to argue in detail for this conception 

324 Historical Religions as Personal Relations 

of the religious consciousness, one would first of all point 
out that it lies at the base of all historical forms of religion. 
As is well known, living beings and nature phenomena are 
the objects of the primitive religious consciousness. An- 
cestor worship is the most important form of the worship 
of conscious beings; fetichism and the worship of the 
heavenly bodies are the extreme forms of the nature reli- 
gions. Now it is obvious that the worship of the dead 
warrior or patriarch, and indeed the worship of any person, 
or even of any animal, living or dead, is a conscious rela- 
tion of the worshipper to another self. But it seems, at first 
sight, as if the worship of a nature phenomenon could not 
be in any sense a conscious relation to a greater self. A 
fetich is an insignificant object, a bit of bone or a twig or 
a pebble, not a living being ; and sun, moon, air and water, 
the gods of the nature religions, are inanimate beings. A 
closer study, however, shows that these objects, fetiches as 
well as sun and moon and stars, are worshipped, not for 
what they are, but because they are looked upon as em- 
bodiments of conscious selves. No savage is so ignorant 
that he fears and reverences a bit of bone, as mere bone ; 
he worships it because he looks upon it as, in some myste- 
rious way, the instrument or symbol of a powerful, though 
unseen, self or spirit. And no Aryan, we may be sure, 
ever bowed down before the sun, feeling that his god was 
a mere flaming, yellow ball. He worshipped the sun as a 
being, apart from him and infinitely greater than he, yet 
none the less a self, however vaguely conceived. Nature 
souls, in the words of Pfleiderer, a well-known historian of 
religion, " are originally nothing but the livingness and ac- 
tive power of the phenomena of nature, conceived after the 
analogy of animal and man as willing and feeling beings." 1 
If this were a book about religion, instead of being a 
book about psychology, it would go on to show that the 

1 " Philosophy of Religion," Vol. III., p. 237. Cf. E. B. Tylor, " Primitive 
Culture," Vol. II., pp. 185 and 294. 

The Personal Nature of Religious Rite 325 

systems, which seem to diverge from this conception, are 
no true exceptions. It would show, also, that the history 
of religion chronicles, in a sort of pendular succession, a 
reaction of two motives, one upon the other. A given 
religion, while it must include both factors, emphasizes 
either the superior power of its gods or else their essential 
likeness to human beings. In the lower forms of animism, 
for example, there is little difference between god and 
worshipper ; and the gods of the Hellenes, who live among 
men, feasting, plotting, making love, come perilously near 
to losing the divine attribute of power. The higher nature- 
deities, on the other hand, are revered as immeasurably 
greater than human beings. 

The history of religious rite and ceremonial furnishes 
another proof of the personal nature of the religious con- 
sciousness. Prayer is, as Tylor has said, 1 " the address of 
personal spirit to personal spirit . . . simply an extension 
of the daily intercourse between man and man." The 
prayer, often quoted, of the Samoyed woman on the 
steppes, shows very clearly how simple may be this com- 
munication of the human with the divine. In the morn- 
ing, bowing down before the sun, she said only, ' When 
thou risest, I too rise from my bed/ and in the evening she 
said, ' When thou sinkest down, I too get me to rest' 2 
Here we have neither petition, confession nor explicit ad- 
oration, but mere intercourse, that is, acknowledgment of 
common experience. Prayer may be, indeed, a mere request 
for material good like the Gold Coast negro's prayer, ' God 
give me rice and yams, gold and agries, give me slaves, 
riches and health," 3 or it may be a prayer for forgiveness, 
like the Aryan's cry, "Through want of strength, thou 
strong and bright God, have I gone wrong ; have mercy, 
almighty, have mercy;" 4 but whatever its form, prayer, like 

1 op. dt., Vol. II., p. 364. 

2 Tylor, op. cit., Vol. II., pp. 291, 292. 
8 Tylor, op. cit., Vol. II., p. 367. 

4 Quoted by Tylor, op. tit., Vol. II., p. 374, from the Rig Veda, VII., 89, 3. 

326 The Nature of Religion 

sacrifice, is always the communion of the human with the 
more-than-human spirit. 

This introductory reference to the history of religions 
and of religious rites prepares us for our specific problem, 
the nature of the religious consciousness. The conception 
which we have gained enables us, in the first place, 1 to 
limit the essentials of the religious experience. Ritual and 
ceremonial, theories of heaven and hell, and even hopes 
of immortality are religious only in so far as they grow 
out of the consciousness of God or grow up into it ; in the 
realization and immediate acquaintance with God, the 
religious experience has its centre and its circumference. 
We shall gain a truer understanding, therefore, of the 
religious consciousness, if we do not regard it as an expe- 
rience radically different from the other personal relations 
of our lives. For if God be just a greater self, then one's 
attitude toward him cannot be utterly unlike one's attitude 
toward a powerful human friend or chief. In our study 
of the religious consciousness, we must thus be guided 
throughout by the analogy of human relationships. 

Now human beings are, first of all, liked or disliked, 
feared or thanked, loved or hated, and in the same way 
the religious experience is always, in part at least, emo- 
tional. At its lowest emotional terms, it includes at least 
the feeling of the dependence of the human on the divine. 
But ordinarily the religious experience is far richer in 
emotion, and there is, indeed, no significant phase of human 
feeling, which may not as well characterize the relation of 
man to God as that of man to man. Abject fear, pro- 
found gratitude, bitter hatred or devoted love may be fac- 
tors of the religious experience. The savage, who bribes 
his gods through fear of them, and the rebels who cry out, 
" All we are against thee, against thee, O God most high," 
are as truly religious in their emotion as the humblest and 
most self-forgetful worshippers. 

1 This sentence and a few of those which follow are quoted from a paper, 
by the writer, in the New World, 1896. 

Religion and Morality 327 

We have found, however, in our analysis of personal 
relations, that there is an active as well as a passive atti- 
tude to other selves, a relation of faith or will, as well as 
an emotional relation of fear or gratitude. This active 
acknowledgment of loyalty or faith is the second charac- 
teristic phase of religious experience. It may be touched 
by emotion, yet it is sometimes an utterly unemotional 
acknowledgment of the divine self, a submission to what 
one conceives to be his will, an adoption of what one looks 
upon as his ideal, a resolute loyalty unlighted by emotion, 
supported only by a sober and perhaps rather dreary con- 
viction of duty. It may be questioned whether there is a 
more heroic type of religious experience, than just this 
cold adoption of what one conceives to be the right rela- 
tion to God. 

We are thus brought, face to face, with the significant 
problem regarding the connection between the religions 
and the ethical experience. Our definition of religion, as 
relation of the human self to the divine, provides us with 
a standard by which to test the frequent claim that moral- 
ity is religion. This claim is often strongly opposed on 
historical grounds. It is pointed out that primitive reli- 
gions are full of positively immoral customs and rites, that 
the Borneans, for example, gain new spirits by head- 
hunting, and that the Oceanians have a god of thieving, to 
whom they offer a bit of their booty, bribing him to secrecy 
with such words as these : " Here is a bit of the pig ; take 
it, good Hiero, and say nothing of it." J Such an argument, 
however, is inadequate, no matter how firmly established 
the facts on which it is based. For though Borneans and 
Oceanians and all other savage people perform acts, which 
we call wrong, as parts of their religious observance, it may 
be that they do not thereby violate their own moral codes. 

The opposition between religion and morality lies deeper. 
The religious experience is fundamentally a consciousness 

1 Cf. Ratzel, " History of Mankind," Vol. I., p. 304. 

328 Religion and Esthetic Delight 

of God or of gods, a realized relation of the worshipper to 
a spirit or to spirits, who are greater than he and greater 
also than his fellow-men. The moral consciousness, on 
the other hand, is, as we shall see, a form of the social 
consciousness, a man's recognition of his place in the whole 
inter-related organism of human beings. Now, just as any 
human relation is incomplete and unworthy, if it lacks the 
moral experience, that is, the consciousness of obligation 
toward another self, so the religious consciousness is super- 
ficial, unhealthy and fragmentary, if it does not include the 
acknowledgment of duty toward God. But though reli- 
gion without morality is ethically degrading, it is none the 
less religion. Any conscious relation to God, however 
low and lifeless, however destitute of moral responsibility, is 
religion ; and no morality, however sublime, no life, how- 
ever noble, is religious, if it lack this conscious relation to 
God. It follows, of course, that a bad man may be reli- 
gious and that a good man may lack the consciousness of 
his relation to God. Undoubtedly, therefore, certain ethical 
systems are better and safer guides than certain religious 
creeds. Religion, however, is not and cannot be moral- 
ity, simply because religion is, and morality is not, a con- 
scious relation of human self to the divine. 

The aesthetic, almost as frequently as the moral, experi- 
ence is mistaken for religion. The profound emotion, with 
which one falls upon one's knees with the throng of wor- 
shippers in a great cathedral, is named religious awe, though 
it is quite as likely to be what Du Maurier calls mere 'sen- 
suous attendrissement? The stately proportions of nave 
and transept, the severe beauty of pillar and arch, the 
rich coloring of stained glass, the thrilling sounds of the 
organ and the heavy odor of the incense may hold one's 
whole soul enthralled, and leave no room for the realiza- 
tion of any personal attitude, to a God who is in or behind 
all this beauty. In the same way, the absorbed study of 
nature beauty is a self-forgetful, but not, for that reason, a 
religious experience. 

Religion and Belief 329 

This teaching, it must be admitted, is in opposition to the 
modern tendency to class experiences as religious if they 
do not deal directly with material needs and conditions. 
But the very breadth and comprehensiveness of these con- 
ceptions make them, in the writer's opinion, valueless. It 
is indeed true that the religious, the ethical and the aes- 
thetic consciousness are alike, in that they are, in a greater 
or less degree, altruistic rather than merely egoistic ex- 
periences. It is, however, misleading to confuse relations 
which, though similar in one respect, are none the less 
sharply distinguished. 

Our study of the religious experience has not yet even 
named what is ordinarily accounted its most important fac- 
tor : the conviction of God's reality, or as it is commonly 
called belief. The truth is that belief, in this sense, is 
not a part of any personal experience, that is, of any rela- 
tion of one self with another. We are not occupied, in our 
personal relationships, with reflections upon one another's 
reality : we merely like or dislike each other, and are loyal 
or imperious. We may, to be sure, be conscious of the 
reality of God and of our human fellows, but this reflection 
upon reality is usually a phase of the philosophical con- 
sciousness, and not even an ingredient of the religious 
experience. Certainly, a bare conviction of the actual ex- 
istence of another self, human or divine, by whom one does 
not feel oneself affected, to whom one is utterly unrelated, 
is not a personal experience at all. A belief of the reality of 
President Steyn of the Orange Free State is no personal re- 
lation with him ; and the mere persuasion that there exists 
a Supreme Being does not constitute a religious experience. 

But though the conviction of reality does not enter into 
the immediateness of the personal experience, it is evident 
that no relationship with God is possible, to one who is dis- 
tinctly convinced that there is no God. Some degree of 
the conviction of God's reality must, therefore, form the 
background of every religious experience, except the primi- 
tive personal relation in which one neither questions nor 

33 The Religious Consciousness 

believes. 1 But this sense of God's reality has unsuspected 
gradations of assurance, lying between the extremes of 
doubt and reasoned conviction. The consciousness of 
God's reality may attain the completeness of philosophical 
dogma, but it may, on the other hand, be incomplete and 
illogical ; it may be firmly held or it may be feeble and 
vacillating. For the truth is, as we have seen, that this 
consciousness of reality is, at most, a secondary and unem- 
phasized part of religious experience ; and religion is, as we 
cannot too often repeat, a relation with God, like our rela- 
tions with our fellow-men. 

A crabbed Devon peasant, who figures in a recent novel, 
has expressed this conception of religion in striking and 
unconventional terms : " As to the A'mighty, my rule's 
to treat Un the same as he treats me same as we'm 
taught to treat any other neighbor. That's fair if you ax 
me. ... If God sends gude things, I'm fust to thank Un 
'pon my bended knees, and hope respectful for long con- 
tinuance ; if he sends bad, then I cool off and wait for bet- 
ter times. . . . No song, no supper, as the saying is. 
Ban't my way to turn left cheek to Jehovah Jireh, after 
he's smote me upon the right. 'Tis contrary to human 
nature. . . . When the Lard's hand's light on me I go 
dancin' and frolickin' afore him like to David afore the 
Ark . . . but when He'm contrary with me and minded to 
blaw hot and cold from no fault o' mine, why, dammy, I 
get contrary too . . ." 

Such a religious experience may well be criticised, on 
the ground that it makes no distinction between human 
and divine, but it does not lack what the soi-disant religious 
consciousness, aesthetic or ethical, always misses, a robust 
personal experience of God. " Herein," as Fichte says, 
"religion doth consist, that man in his own person and 
not in that of another, with his own spiritual eye and not 
through that of another, should immediately behold, have 
and possess God." 

1 Cf, Chapter IX., p. 126. 


IN this chapter, as in the last, self-consciousness is dis- 
cussed, not primarily from the standpoint of one's own sub- 
jective attitude active or passive, imperious or adoptive 
but with special regard to the nature of that other self, 
with whom one feels oneself related. The 'other self/ 
whom this chapter considers, is no single self, but a com- 
posite self or group of selves. To the recognition of a 
group or circle of selves, the term ' social consciousness ' 
is usually applied, in a narrower and more technical sense 
than that in which we have heretofore called the con- 
sciousness of any other self, even of a single self, a social 

All social groups are characterized by their imitativeness, 
so that a modern sociologist, Tarde, has denned society as 
a circle of imitation. We shall later find reason to supple- 
ment this definition : let us for the present reflect on the 
truth which it contains. If we try to discover how many 
of our daily acts are repetitions of those of other people, 
we shall perhaps be surprised at our conclusion. We rise, 
breakfast, travel by car or by train, enter workroom or 
office or shop, work behind machine or counter or desk, 
lunch, work again, return to our houses, dine, amuse 
ourselves and sleep ; and innumerable other people, near 
and far, are also breakfasting, travelling, working, dining 
and sleeping. 

Yet we are in error if we reckon all these repeated ac- 
tivities as imitations. An absolutely isolated individual, 
without opportunity to imitate any one, would nevertheless 

332 The Social Consciousness 

eat and sleep and move about. An imitation is an act or 
a conscious experience, conditioned by another, or by 
others, similar to it. Repeated activities are not, then, of 
necessity, imitations, but may be independent expressions 
of an individual, though common, instinct. 

When, however, we weed out from the tangle of our 
repeated acts, those acts which are mere instinctive or else 
accidental repetitions, a goodly growth of these imitative 
actions still remains. For example, though we sleep, not 
because others do, but because of the conditions of our 
individual bodies, yet we sleep on the ground or on beds, 
and from eight o'clock till five, or from dawn till noon, 
simply because the people who educated us and the peo- 
ple who surround us do the same. So we eat, not because 
others eat, but to satisfy individual needs, yet we eat 
tallow or rice or terrapin, we eat with our fingers or with 
chop-sticks or with forks, and we eat from the ground, 
from mats or from tables, partly because people have 
taught us these ways, and partly because these are the 
manners of those about us. Again, our wanderings from 
place to place are un-imitative, instinctive activities, but 
the manner of our travelling, on horseback, on bicycles 
or by automobile, is, oftener than we think, a caprice of 

The list of our imitative acts is scarcely begun. The 
root words of a language, except such as are instinctive 
vocal outcries, are imitations of nature sounds, 1 and lan- 
guage is always acquired by imitation. People speak 
English or Dutch or Portuguese not accidentally as the 
child suggested, who feared that his baby brother might 
speak German, in place of English but through imita- 
tion of the people about us. Our handwriting is an imi- 
tation of our teacher's, and the earliest handwriting was 
abbreviated from the pictured imitation of natural objects. 
We bow to each other instead of rubbing noses, we lace 

1 Cf. Bibliography. 

The Mob Consciousness 333 

on calf boots instead of binding on sandals, we read and 
write short stories instead of three-volumed romances, we 
revel in sociological heroines in place of romantic ones, 
and we study psychical research and no longer burn 
witches. But all these acts, ideals and tendencies are 
directly due to custom or fashion, that is, to imitation. 
We do and think all these things and scores of others, 
because others act and think in these ways. 


This preliminary illustration of the wide extent of imita- 
tion is a fitting introduction to our study of the social 
consciousness. The social consciousness has two forms or 
stages, of which the first is fairly well described as the mob- 
consciousness ; for the second, there is no adequate name, 
and we shall somewhat awkwardly call it the reflectively 
social consciousness. The crowd, or mob, is a group of 
selves, of whom each one imitates the external acts and 
the unreflective consciousness of the others. The mob, 
however, in so far as it concerns the social psychologist, is 
consciously imitative. It is probably true, to be sure, that 
mob-actions may be unconsciously performed. The most 
serious-minded may be carried out of bounds at an exciting 
football game, and may wake up to find that, quite uncon- 
sciously, he has himself joined lustily in ear-splitting yells 
during several mad minutes. But this unconsciously 
active mob is the concern of the sociologist. The social 
psychologist's interest is limited to the group of people 
who realize their imitativeness, who are conscious, how- 
ever vaguely, of shared experiences and actions, who know 
that they are joining the shout of a thousand voices, or that 
they are rushing on in a great, moving mass of people. 
Such vague social consciousness the people of the mob 
almost always possess. 

We have next to remark the strict limitations of the 
mob-consciousness. The individuals who compose it share 

334 The Mob Consciousness 

each other's perceptual and emotional experience, but their 
actions are too precipitate to admit time for thought, and 
they are too deeply swayed by emotion, to be capable 
of loyalty or of deliberate will. The mob-consciousness is 
not only fundamentally imitative, but utterly lacking in 
deliberation and reflection, and it is therefore capricious 
and fantastic. For this reason, the acts of a mob are 
absolutely unpredictable, since they spring from the emo- 
tions, notably the most temporary of our subjective at- 
titudes. The fickleness of the crowd is, therefore, its 
traditional attribute ; the mob which has cried aloud for 
the republic rends the air with its Vive le Roi, and the 
Dantons and Robespierres, who have been leaders of the 
crowd, become its victims. 

What is sometimes called the insanity of a mob is in 
reality, therefore, a psychological, not a pathological, phe- 
nomenon. Every emotion and passion gains strength as it 
is shared, and is characterized by reactions of increasing 
vigor. The accelerated force of primitive emotions, shared 
by scores and hundreds of people, is for a time irresistible, 
the more so, because both emotions and the acts which go 
with them are unchecked by reasoning or by deliberation. 
No one supposes that the crew of the Bourgogne deliber- 
ately trampled women down, in an effort to reach the 
boats. No one imagines that the Akron mob would have 
set fire to the public buildings, when they knew that the 
man whom they sought had escaped, had they reasoned 
the matter out. Seamen and citizens alike were a prey to 
elemental passions uncontrolled by deliberation. 

The activities of a mob may, none the less, be construc- 
tive as well as destructive, ideal as well as material. Gus- 
tave le Bon, a brilliant French writer, lays great stress 
on the capacity of a mob to perform capriciously generous 
deeds as well as cruel ones ; and he instances the crusades 
as example of a great altruistic mob-movement. "A 
crowd," Le Bon says, "may be guilty of every kind of 
crime, but it is also capable of loftier acts than those of 

The Suggestibility of the Mob 335 

which the isolated individual is capable." It is, however, 
perfectly unequal to any logical conclusions, any reasoned 
acts, any purposed, planned or deliberately chosen per- 
formance. Whether it drive the tumbril or rescue the 
Holy Sepulchre, its action is purely emotional and capri- 
cious, and it takes its cue unreflectively from the leader of 
the moment, for "a man . . . isolated . . . may be a 
cultivated individual ; in a crowd he is a barbarian." 

The suggestibility of a crowd is so well marked, that it 
is regarded by certain writers J as a form of hypnotization. 
This suggestibility extends even to the sense-experiences 
of the crowd, which is, therefore, subject to actual sense- 
illusions. Le Bon brings forward instance after instance of 
these collective illusions, for example, the phantom raft, seen 
by the whole crew of the Belle Poule, and the St. George 
who appeared on the walls of Jerusalem to all the crusaders. 

Many modern writers, Le Bon among them, believe 
that trie crowd or mob is the only social group. They 
thus completely identify the crowd with ' society,' teaching 
that the mob-consciousness is the only type of social con- 
sciousness. From this doctrine, we have good reason to 
dissent most emphatically, for we clearly find in human 
experience what has been named the reflective social con- 
sciousness. We shall try to illustrate and later to define it. 
We may compare, for example, the reflective national con- 
sciousness with mob-patriotism. We are all familiar with 
the mob-activities of so-called patriotism : the shouts, the 
fire-crackers, the flag-wavings. They are all a part of the 
contagious feeling and action of a lot of consciously, but 
unreflectively, imitative selves. A reflective national con- 
sciousness is an utterly different sort of experience. The 
possessor of it has certain deep-seated social conceptions, 
ideals and purposes ; these have their significance to him 
as shared with a group of selves, who are consciously 

1 Cf. Boris Sidis, " The Psychology of Suggestion." 

336 The Reflective Social Consciousness 

related with himself and with each other. These principles 
and ideals would be meaningless to the reflectively social 
individual, if they were merely his own. Yet he individu- 
ally adopts and promulgates them, and he acts them out 
at the primaries, at the polls and in public office. Such a 
reflective national consciousness may well be emotional, 
but it is not purely emotional, and its emotional attitudes 
are constant, not temporary and capricious. 

Different forms of college spirit illustrate the same 
distinction. To cheer oneself hoarse at the athletic meet, 
and to join the men who carry the hero of the games in 
triumph from the field, may be a mere manifestation of 
mob-consciousness, an unreasoned, unpurposed wave of 
feeling, which carries one off one's feet in the contagion 
of a great enthusiasm. But there is also a deliberate 
college spirit. The student is profoundly conscious that 
his pursuit of a well-shaped, academic course, of a life of 
close social affiliations, and of an honorable college degree, 
is the aim of hundreds of other students. He realises that 
he is imitating and, in some ways, leading them, and that 
they are both imitators and leaders of each other and of 
him. He more or less clearly recognizes that his advance 
is an alternate imitation of his teachers and his fellows, 
and a reaction against them. His degree has a purely 
social value dependent on other people's estimate of it. 
In a word, his college life is consciously and reflectively 

Our illustrations have paved the way for our definition 
of the reflectively social consciousness, as (i) the reflective 
adoption of, or domination over, the external activities and 
the conscious experience of other selves, who (2) are re- 
garded as forming a social group. Such a group of reflec- 
tively social persons may be called 'society' in contrast 
with the crowd or mob. 1 

The best way, in which to bring out the meaning of this 

1 Cf. Baldwin, " Social and Ethical Interpretations," Chapter XII. 

The Reflective Social Consciousness 337 

somewhat abstractly worded definition, is to contrast the 
reflecting social consciousness with the mob-consciousness, 
in more detail. The most fundamental characteristic of 
the reflective social experience may be thus described : the 
reflectively social person realizes that his own conscious- 
ness and his acts are imitations of the other members of 
his social group or are models for them ; he realizes, also, 
that the consciousness and the actions of every other mem- 
ber of the group are, similarly, either patterned on the feel- 
ings and deeds of the others or else suggestive of their 
experiences and activities. One consciously imitates, 
opposes or leads others, with the consciousness that they 
are similarly related to oneself and to each other. This 
recognition of social relations is evidently a reflective and 
deliberate affair, and forms no part at all of the mob-con- 
sciousness. The individual in the crowd, though he may 
indeed have the vague feeling of companionship, does not 
know that his acts are the result of social contagion. If 
you ask him why he shouts, or rescues, or kills, he tells 
you that he cannot help it ; and he is right, for imitation 
is an unreasoning instinct, and although his acts are in- 
fluenced by those of the group to which he belongs and 
by the acts of their common leader, yet he does not 
reason about this imitativeness or clearly realize it. The 
reflectively social individual, on the other hand, is pro- 
foundly conscious of the influences, the imitations and the 
counter imitations, of the social organization. The reflec- 
tively social consciousness may be, in the second place, 
deliberate as well as immediate, thoughtful as well as 
emotional. This is its most obvious distinction from the 
mob-consciousness, to which it is likely at any moment to 
give place. The legislative assembly or committee meet- 
ing, as it should be, is a manifestation of the reflective 
social consciousness, not swayed by the feeling of the 
moment, but carefully reasoning, deliberately adopting 
this or that recommendation, and passing motions only 
after long consideration. The assembly or meeting, as it 

338 The Reflective Social Consciousness 

actually is, is often enough a frenzied mob in which passion 
excites passion, and deliberation is an unattainable ideal. 

The reflective social consciousness is, finally, no longer 
merely imitative. The reflectively social person is aware 
of his power to lead, as well as of his capacity to follow. 
This tendency of the developed social consciousness has 
been greatly underemphasized. Tarde, for example, as 
has already been said, believes that the essential nature 
of society is imitativeness. "Socialite"," he says, 1 "c'est 
rimitativite." It is perfectly evident that this definition 
leaves out of account the characteristic attitude of the 
leader of society. Even those who have confused society 
with the mob have been the first to acknowledge the leader 
as related to the mob, yet not a member of it. " A crowd," 
Le Bon declares, 2 " is a servile flock incapable of ever 
doing without a master." In truth, however wide the place 
we make for imitation as a social function, it can never dis- 
place spontaneity and leadership. The charge is lost when 
the officer falls, and the mob disperses when its leader 
wavers. Customs and conventions and fashions are imita- 
tions which are dominated by invention, and every institu- 
tion is, as Emerson said, 'the lengthened shadow of a man.' 

Nobody can deny that these masters of men, these cap- 
tains of industry, these world conquerors, are men possessed 
of social consciousness. We certainly cannot attribute so- 
cial feeling to the Old Guard and deny it to Napoleon. 
We cannot assert that the doers of the law have a realiza- 
tion of a public self, society, and that the makers of the 
law are without it. The sense of moulding the common 
purpose, of inflaming the public feeling, and of inciting 
a group of selves to imitative action, is as truly a social 
consciousness as the realization that one is imitating the 
thoughts and feelings and acts of a group of similarly 
imitative selves, at the inspiration of the same leader. 

1 Cf. " Les Lois de PImitation," p. 75. 
* "The Psychology of the Crowd," p. 113. 

Social Leadership 339 

This dominating phase of the reflectively social con- 
sciousness does not belong to the great leaders and masters 
only. On the contrary, every reflectively social individual 
may assume the dominating, imperious attitude, as well as 
the imitative, acknowledging attitude. Anybody may, 
moreover, adopt this position not only toward individuals 
but toward society the reflectively social group whose 
members are realized as either imitative of each other 
or as dominating each other. The consciousness of this 
imperious attitude lies at the basis of what is known as 
the realization of one's moral influence. One may go to 
religious services and observe church festivals, not as a 
personal duty, but because one believes the observances 
socially valuable, and is conscious of one's actions as likely 
to influence other people's. More than this, as our study 
of will has suggested, 1 a dominating, not an imitative, 
attitude toward society is entirely possible when one is 
not master of a situation, and when, rather, one is leading 
a forlorn hope or, single-handed, defying a mob. Thus, 
the experience of Sokrates was profoundly social when, in 
the Heliastic Court, he stood alone for a legal trial of the 
generals of ^Egospotami, while the Athenians, beside them- 
selves with horror over the unburied crews, were crying 
out for quick vengeance on the leaders of that luckless 
sea-fight. Certainly Sokrates was conscious of himself as 
opposing, not a single man nor any fortuitous aggregate, 
but all Athens, a composite, group-self, whose members 
were being swept on in a universal passion to a common 


It is vitally important, as has been said, to keep in mind 
that imitation and opposition are no newly discovered ten- 
dencies, which hold true only of the social, not of the 
individual, experience. On the other hand, they are mere 

1 Cf. Chapter XXI., p. 308. 

340 Imitation 

manifestations of adoptiveness and imperiousness, which 
are the underlying attitudes of all self -consciousness. This 
will become clearer if we study the two, imitation and 
inventiveness, in more detail, regarding them not only as 
relations of an individual to a social group, but as relations 
of one individual to another. 

Two forms of imitation are socially significant : fashion, 
or imitation of the present, of contemporary selves and 
facts, and tradition, or imitation of the past, of one's 
ancestors, their thoughts and their acts. In Paris, for 
instance, dress is regulated by fashion, which changes with 
every season, and every woman therefore dresses as her 
neighbor does. In Brittany, dress is a tradition, and every 
woman dresses as her great-grandmother did ; the pay- 
sanne, who moves from one province to another, tranquilly, 
and as a matter of course, wears a coiffe which is as tall 
as that of the neighborhood is broad, as pointed as that 
is square, as unadorned as that is richly embroidered. 
This adherence to tradition as opposed to custom is the 
real distinction between conservative and radical. The 
latter need not himself be original and inventive, but he 
is friendly to innovation and receptive of the customs of 
his contemporaries ; he breaks with the past and allies 
himself with the present ; whereas the conservative clings 
to the past and imitates the traditional observance. 

The second of the ordinary distinctions is that between 
physical and psychic imitation, imitation of movement and 
imitation of emotion or idea. Uniformities of movement 
for example, those of a military drill are illustrations 
of the first class, and fashions in creed or in theory, such as 
the evolution hypothesis or the modern theory of training 
children on lines of their own spontaneous interest, are 
instances of the second sort. The usual order is from 
outward to inward imitation. One adopts a tight sleeve, 
for example, or a fad in visiting cards, in mechanical imita- 
tion of the people about one, privately believing that the 
sleeve is hideous and that the custom is senseless. Little 

Imitation 34 1 

by little, however, one follows the fashion of thought as 
well as the outward custom, and comes to believe sincerely 
that the dress which seemed grotesque is a model of the 
beautiful, and that the convention which appeared absurd 
is a bulwark of society. 

The truth, however, is that conscious imitation is only 
secondarily of idea or of act. Primarily and fundamen- 
tally, it is a richly personal experience, the imitation of 
other self or of other selves, of individual or of social 
group, a conscious attempt to make oneself into this 
fascinating personality or to become one of this attractive 
circle. So the child imitates his father's stride, because it 
is his father's, not from any intrinsic interest in the move- 
ment in itself, and he is fiercely Republican because his 
father belongs to the Republican party, not because he 
himself inclines toward these principles rather than toward 
others. The life of the child shows most clearly, indeed, 
the intensely personal nature of imitation. The develop- 
ment of his own personality is, as Royce has shown, 1 by 
the successive assumption of other people's personality. 
Now, he imitates, or throws himself into, the life of the 
adventurer, he adopts the role of the cow-boy, not merely 
in his plays, from the back of his spirited rocking-horse, 
but in his daily walk and conversation. A little later, his 
ideals are incarnated in the persons of military heroes : 
you will find him gallantly defending the pass at Ther- 
mopylae behind a breastwork of pillows, or sailing into 
the harbor of Santiago on a precarious ship of chairs ; he 
adopts a military step, organizes his companions into a 
regiment, attempts military music on his toy trumpet, 
cultivates in himself, and demands from others, the military 
virtues of obedience and courage. And, in all this, he is 
primarily imitating people, and is imitating specific acts 
and ideals, only as they are characteristic of these people. 

One need not turn, indeed, to the life of childhood, for 

1 Centttry, 1894. 

34 2 Imitation and Opposition 

illustration of the fundamentally personal nature of imita- 
tion. For there surely are few adults whose aims are not 
embodied in human beings. Whether one's ideal is that 
of the student, the physician or the business man, it stands 
out before one most clearly in the figure of some daring 
and patient scholar, some learned and sympathetic physi- 
cian, some alert and honorable business man. One's 
effort is often explicitly, and almost always implicitly, to 
be like this ideal self, to realize in oneself his outlook 
and his achievements; and one is consciously satisfied 
with oneself when one has completed an investigation, 
made a diagnosis, or launched a business enterprise as this 
ideal self might have done it. Our moral life, perhaps, 
offers the most frequent illustration of the personal char- 
acter of imitation. Our ethical ideals live in the person 
of some great teacher, and our moral life is a conscious 
effort to be like him ; our aims, also, are set before us as 
a supreme personal ideal, and we are bidden to " be per- 
fect as our Father in Heaven is perfect." 

Leaving imitation, let us briefly consider the main forms 
of the contrasted tendency. We have already named 
them : mere opposition to act, idea or self, and domination, 
expressed or unexpressed, of act, idea or self. In its sim- 
plest form, ' opposition ' manifests itself as the desire to 
be different. Professor Royce is probably right in in- 
sisting l that this tendency has been underrated, in conse- 
quence of the almost exclusive interest of the sociologists 
in the function of imitation. In all save the most servile 
forms of the social consciousness, there is, as we have seen, 
alongside of the impulse to follow one's neighbors, the 
instinct to show oneself unlike them, or as the impulse is 
sometimes formulated to show one's own individuality. 
We are most likely, of course, to find opposition ' writ 

1 Psychological Review, 1898, p. 113. Cf. a letter quoted by Baldwin, 
" Social and Ethical Interpretations," p. 233. 

Opposition and Invention 343 

large ' in the actions of children. But the mischief of a 
child which prompts him quite wilfully to say ' dog ' or 
' cow ' when he knows well that he has spelled c-a-t, to 
run when he is expected to walk sedately, and to talk when 
silence is demanded, is merely a more obvious expression 
of the opposition instinct, which lies at the basis of all 
eccentricity in dress, repartee in conversation and inven- 
tiveness in science or in art. Throughout these varying 
manifestations, we may descry the tendency to be differ- 
ent, to attain what Royce calls the ' contrast effect,' quite 
for its own sake and without effort to influence other 
people. In this way, 'opposition' is distinct from the 
kindred form of domination, or command, the spirit of the 
leader of crowds and the organizer of societies. 

But whatever the stage of its manifestations, this assert- 
ive tendency is never to be designated as ' individual and 
therefore unsocial.' As truly as imitation, it is a social 
attitude. One cannot be ' different ' unless one realizes 
the selves from whom one differs, one cannot show one- 
self off as a man ' of rare wit,' a novelist of ' unusual and 
elusive subtlety ' or a philosopher of epoch-making origi- 
nality, without a realization of the commonplace social 
background, against which one's meteoric brilliancy is 

One final observation is of great importance. It is 
quite inaccurate to separate imitation and invention, as if 
some people and some achievements were imitative and 
others inventive. The truth is that every normal person 
unites in himself, in varying proportions, these two funda- 
mental tendencies of consciousness. Nobody could be 
absolutely original, if that means unimitative ; and con- 
versely, one could hardly be a self without some trace of 
opposition to one's environment. Thus, the most daring 
inventor makes use of the old principle, and the most orig- 
inal writer is imitative, at least to the extent of using lan- 
guage. On the other hand, few copies are so servile that 
they are utterly undistinguishable from the model. 

344 Invention and Imitation 

The intimate union of the two tendencies is shown, 
also, by the fact that the usual road to inventiveness is 
through imitation. Sometimes, indeed, inventiveness con- 
sists solely in the selection of unusual persons or ideas 
for imitation. So, Marie Antoinette and her court ladies, 
in the Petit Trianon, invented a brave sport, when they 
gayly imitated the milk-maids ; and the novelty of a recent 
Newport season was a glorified sort of haymakers' din- 
ner. But we need not seek our illustrations so far afield. 
Any honest effort to imitate intelligently must result in 
transformation rather than in mechanical copying. The 
healthy mind simply cannot follow copy, without the spon- 
taneous and unexpected occurrence of suggestions for 
change hot air instead of steam, an iambic meter in place 
of a trochaic, burnt umber rather than sienna, or zinc solu- 
tion in place of chloride. It matters not whether we work 
at machinery, at poetry, at painting or at chemistry : we 
all become inventive by trying to imitate. A curious, yet 
common, result of this relation is the inventor's inability to 
realize the extent of the changes which he brings about. 
Fichte, for example, supposed that he was merely ex- 
pounding Kant, until Kant disclaimed the exposition and 
stamped Fichte's doctrine as an injurious and heretical 
system of thought. 

It may be shown, finally, that successful inventions are 
always based on imitation, and that effective imitations are 
always touched with inventiveness. The well-dressed 
person neither defies fashion nor follows it to its last 
extreme ; in general outline he conforms, but in well- 
chosen detail he is law unto himself. In the artistic din- 
ner, the procession of the courses does not deviate from 
the traditional order, and one is able to identify the dishes 
of which one partakes, yet, here and there in a rare 
combination of delicate flavors or in an unconventional 
arrangement of the flowers the skill of the inventor 
betrays itself. So, the successful conversationalist is 
neither slavishly imitative nor eccentric to the point of 

Invention and Imitation 345 

wearying his friends. For though one can barely survive 
an hour, in company with the amiable person who echoes 
all that one says, yet one retreats, battle-sore, from an 
encounter with the original talker, who is wont to treat the 
most commonplace remark as a challenge to mortal com- 
bat or, at the least, as a target for repartee. 

We have seen that only the inventive imitation and the 
imitative invention are valued and appreciated. It is also 
true that the practically successful, that is, the permanent 
innovation, is the one which can be readily imitated. The 
inventor of machinery, so complicated that the common 
man cannot use it, will not succeed in introducing his 
machines, and the promulgator of doctrine, so profound 
that few men can apprehend it, will not greatly influence 
contemporary thought. This is the reason why the most 
original thinkers are so seldom leaders of their own age ; 
why, for example, the teachings of Sokrates, of Jesus, of 
Galileo and of Spinoza exerted so little influence on con- 
temporary thought. On the other hand, the brilliantly 
successful man almost always has that highest grade of 
commonplace mind which strikes out nothing essentially 
new, but which is yet keenly susceptible to most sugges- 
tions, selecting from these, with unerring good judgment, 
the readily imitable features. " Too original a thought is," 
as Baldwin says, "a social sport." Neither Rousseau nor 
the French Revolution, he points out, 1 could make a 
democracy of France, for centuries under absolute rule 
had unfitted the French to imitate and to adopt ideals of 
liberty tgalitt, fraternitt. For a like reason, Constantine 
could not christianize his legions by baptizing them ; and 
indeed nobody ever yet foisted on a group of people any 
ideal which they were unprepared to imitate. 

It is not altogether easy to summarize our results. We 
began by considering the ' social consciousness,' in the 
narrower sense of that term, an individual's consciousness 

1 op. dt., p. 469. 

346 The Moral Consciousness 

of a group of other selves. We found two stages of it: 
first, the mob-consciousness, conscious imitation of the un- 
deliberative acts and experiences of others ; and second, the 
reflective consciousness of oneself as follower or leader of 
an interrelated group of selves. We proceeded to identify 
the two tendencies, imitation and invention (or opposition), 
with the self-assertive and adoptive tendencies underlying 
all self-consciousness. 

In conclusion, it will be well to contrast the moral with 
the social consciousness. The moral consciousness, what- 
ever else it is, is certainly a form of reflective social experi- 
ence, a recognition of one's own relation to a group of other 
selves. All ethical systems, with the one exception of that 
form of hedonism which teaches that individual pleasure is 
the chief good of life, unite in the admission that the moral 
life involves an altruistic recognition, by one individual, 
of the claims and needs of others. 

By some writers, indeed, the moral consciousness in its 
social phase is not distinguished at all from the reflective 
social consciousness, and any reflective realization of one- 
self, as member of a group of related selves, is regarded as 
a definitely moral experience. In the opinion of the writer, 
there is, however, a difference between the merely social 
and the ethically social attitude : any group, however small, 
of related selves, can be the object of a genuinely social 
consciousness, but the moral consciousness keeps in view 
the relationship, not of any single group, but of all human 
selves, with each other. The purpose of ethical conduct, 
therefore, is the realization of complete union between one 
self and all other selves. In other words, when I am act- 
ing morally, I am not aiming at my own pleasure or profit, 
I am not working to secure the ends of my friend, my 
family, my society, or even of my state : I am inspired by 
a wider purpose, an ideal of the harmonized claims and 
needs and desires of all individuals. 

This fact, that the moral law is a recognition of the uni- 

The Moral Consciousness 347 

verse of selves, explains, in part, the common definition of 
moral experience as the consciousness of a moral law. 
For a law, from the standpoint of science, is the widest of 
generalizations; and what we know as the moral law is 
the demand for universal acknowledgment of the inter- 
related rights and needs of all men, a demand which toler- 
ates no over-emphasis of individual desires or of narrowly 
social purposes. 




OUR study has so far been limited to the problems of 
introspective, normal psychology. It is high time to 
break over these barriers and to take at least a general 
survey of the outlying fields of psychology. We shall do 
well to preface our discussion by summarizing the chief divi- 
sions of psychology, as suggested in our introductory chap- 
ter. There are, of course, many other principles on which 
the classification might be carried out. In the summary 
which follows, the bracketed titles indicate divisions which, 
though logically possible, are actually seldom or never re- 
cognized ; and the middle column includes sub-heads com- 
mon to ' idea-psychology ' and to ' self-psychology.' 


I. Psychology of II. Psychology of 

Ideas. Conscious Selves. 

a. Normal. 

i. Individual. 
[2. Social.] 2. Social. 

b. Abnormal. 

1. Individual. 
[2. Social.] 


a. Normal. 

[i. Not genetic.] 

2. Genetic. 

(a) Individual. 

(1) Of animals. 

(2) Of children. 

(3) Of primitive men. 
[() Social] 

b. Abnormal. 

352 Divisions of Psychology 

The division on which all our study has been based is 
the contrast between introspective and inferential, or com- 
parative, psychology. Introspective psychology is, as we 
have seen, the direct study, by the civilized adult (who 
only is capable of introspection), of his own conscious 
experience. In the study of comparative psychology, one 
first observes the words or the movements of other human 
beings or of animals, one then introspectively reflects on 
the consciousness which accompanies such words or acts 
in one's own experience, and finally, one infers, on this 
basis, the consciousness of the animals, children or savages 
whom one is studying. 

Next after this division, comes the familiar contrast be- 
tween the study of successive ideas and the study of the 
consciousness of related selves. This distinction, of 
course, is most significant and most readily studied in 
introspective psychology. 

In considering the opposition of normal and abnormal 
psychology, we must first notice that abnormal psychology 
is both introspective and comparative. Certain conscious 
phenomena, such as dreams and waking visions, so far 
diverge from everyday experience that we call them 
abnormal, and yet they may be studied by the direct in- 
trospection of those who have the experience. The most 
pronounced varieties of the abnormal consciousness must, 
however, be studied by the method of comparison. It 
should be added that every subdivision of normal psy- 
chology is logically possible in the abnormal. Abnormal 
psychology, for example, may concern itself not only with 
adults, but with children and with animals, since both are 
subject to abnormal experiences, as for instance, dreams, 
hypnotic influence and insanity. 

In distinguishing 'individual' from 'social* psychology, it 
must be observed that we use the second term in its narrower 
meaning of ' psychology of the social group,' although, as 
we have seen, the psychology of selves is itself a social psy- 
chology, in the wider sense of the term, since it treats of 

Divisions of Psychology 353 

the self as ' social,' or related to other selves. * Social 
psychology,' as the scientific study of the social group, 
may be a branch of the psychology of ideas, in so far as it 
is logically possible to consider an image, an emotion or 
an impulse as common to a group of people, and as mani- 
fested in their collective action, without considering the 
group of selves who have the ideas and the emotions. 
This, however, is a particularly unnatural and artificial 
procedure, and all fruitful studies, which have actually 
been made, of the social consciousness, are investigations 
of the action and reaction of selves upon each other. 
Social psychology may, finally, be inferential. 

We have next to formulate the conception of genetic or 
developmental psychology, the comparative study of con- 
scious experiences, at different stages of the development 
of individuals or of social groups. Primarily, this concep- 
tion of development is certainly biological, and concerns 
merely the stages of bodily growth. Later, it is applied 
to selves, regarded from a temporal point of view. It can 
never be applied to the succeeding facts of consciousness, 
for the idea or emotion of one day or month is different 
from that of another day or month, even if exactly similar to 
it ; and nothing can be said to develop which has not a cer- 
tain permanence of its own. There is, therefore, no genetic 
study of ideas, because they are too evanescent to have a de- 
velopment, but in its place there is a study of similar ideas, 
at different periods of bodily growth. The close connection, 
at this point, of biology with psychology, occasions a final 
contrast between the genetic study of children and that of 
animals. The former concerns itself with the development 
of a human body, the latter regards the development of a 
race. Thus, the problem of child psychology is ontoge- 
netic, and concerns the connection of characteristic groups 
of conscious facts, with different ages of the individual; 
whereas the problem of animal psychology is phylogenetic, 
and considers the correlation of phases of consciousness 
with animal species of greater or less development. 


354 Divisions of Psychology 

We come, finally, to the distinctions between human 
adults, children and animals, as objects of psychological 
study. In the first place, we must notice that adult psy- 
chology may be pursued from the genetic standpoint, if 
one regard the characteristic consciousness of the adult 
periods of bodily development : youth, early and late mid- 
dle age, old age and senility. And yet, as our summary 
indicates, the ordinary study of adult psychology assumes 
a sort of typical individual experience, and does not con- 
cern itself with different stages of growth. On the other 
hand, the psychological study of children and of animals 
has the genetic interest at heart. So, though the study of 
children might logically limit itself to the study of con- 
scious experience at some particular age, yet child psy- 
chology is practically most significant and theoretically 
most interesting, when it contrasts the conscious phenom- 
ena of one age with those of another, and draws conclu- 
sions about the rate and the direction of development. 
And similarly, though the study of animal psychology 
might content itself with the investigation of animals of 
one special degree of development, it finds its chief interest 
in the phylogenetic study of animal consciousness, at dif- 
ferent periods of the evolution of species. 

From this discussion of logical possibility and actual 
usage, in the mapping out of fields of psychology, we mus* 
proceed to a closer study of those divisions of psychology, 
which we have so far disregarded. In so doing, we shall 
distinguish, for practical convenience, between comparative 
and abnormal psychology, although, as has been pointed 
out, the comparative method is important in the study of 
abnormal consciousness. 





WE have already faced the difficulty which lies, like a 
barrier, across our very entrance upon the study of animal 
psychology. Psychology is an introspective study, and one 
can be conscious of one's own experience only. It follows 
that every man must be his own psychologist, in other 
words, that he must put every statement, of book or of 
teacher, and every statistical result, to the test of his own 
introspection. The discovery, through spoken or written 
communication, that other people's introspection agrees in 
a general way with our own, does give us, it is true, a cer- 
tain right to refer to other people the results of our own in- 
trospection, and in this way the introspective psychology of 
the adult human consciousness is formulated. But study 
of the consciousness of animals and of babies utterly 
lacks the confirmation of spoken communication. Neither 
animals nor babies can reflectively observe their own ex- 
perience, nor report it to us in words. Our only resource 
is, as we have seen, to infer their states of mind from their 
actions ; but a given action may be interpreted in so many 
ways, that we cannot hope to escape entirely the dangers 
of mistaken inference. No psychologist, therefore, has 
greater need of caution than the student of animal con- 
sciousness. He should never forget that he is observing, 
not the consciousness, but the movements of animals, and 


35 6 Sensational Consciousness of Animals 

that he can frame no more than an intelligent guess at 
their real experience. 

The ideal student of the animal consciousness is both 
biologist and psychologist : he is not merely trained in 
introspection and in the analysis and classification of con- 
sciousness, but he understands the structure and develop- 
ment of the animal body, and he has a first-hand acquaint- 
ance with the life and habits of the animals themselves, 
supplementing close and patient observation by experi- 
mental methods. The writer of this book possesses none 
of these special qualifications, and the chapter which fol- 
lows is little more than an annotated summary of the 
results of other people's study. It aims merely to present 
an outline of the main features of animal psychology. 



The occurrence of a given sensation, in an animal's life, 
is argued in two ways : first, from the fact that the animal 
reacts to stimuli, for example, that it approaches a light 
or starts at a sound ; and second, from the discovery of 
corresponding sense-organs. Neither argument, we must 
remind ourselves, is without ambiguity. The response to 
a stimulus, if an unvarying movement, may be an uncon- 
scious reflex act ; and, as we shall see, the function of the 
different end-organs is not definitely made out. Yet the 
study of end-organs and the observation of bodily move- 
ments remain our only sources of information about the 
sense-consciousness of animals. 

The phylogenetic evolution of animal life as a whole 
resembled, we have reason to think, the ontogenetic devel- 
opment of the individual vertebrate. The skin was cer- 
tainly the primitive sense-organ, for all the sense-organs, 
except the retina in vertebrates, are developed from the 
skin. An undifferentiated consciousness, through con- 

Pressure Sensations 357 

stant stimulation of the skin, must therefore have been 
the primitive type of sensation, unless we suppose that 
animals, at this low stage of development, are unconscious. 
The earliest differentiated sensations must have been cu- 
taneous, for the skin, as is well known, was developed 
earlier than the special sense organs. It is not certain 
at what stage sensations of warmth, cold and pain arose, 
but sensations of hearing and vision were evidently later 
than the others. These general statements, regarding the 
development of sense-consciousness in the animal kingdom, 
are, roughly speaking, true, as has been said, of the indi- 
vidual animal consciousness, but an important exception 
concerns sensations of warmth and cold, which are very 
evident in many young vertebrates immediately after birth. 

From this preliminary account of the rise of sense-con- 
sciousness in animals, we shall go on to study the different 
classes of sensation, discussing them in an unsystematic 
manner, and not even attempting to consider all orders 
of animal life. Of pressure-sensations, least need be said, 
since, as we have seen, all animals, even those lowest in 
the scale, react to pressure-stimuli. Such reactions may 
conceivably be unconscious reflex movements, yet they 
suggest, if they do not prove, the universality of pressure- 
sensations. In the more developed forms of animal life, the 
pressure-organs, of course, become differentiated, and we 
find, in general, that the more mobile parts of the body have 
to do especially with pressure-stimuli; for example, the hairs 
which pierce the tough covering of the crustaceans and of 
certain insects, the cat's whiskers, the hairs of a rabbit's 
lips, the elephant's trunk, the horse's lips and the man's 
fingers are, in a sense, pressure-organs. 

The invertebrates have no olfactory or gustatory organs, 
and they probably have, in place of taste and smell, a so- 
called ' chemical sense,' dermal sensations which enable 
them to distinguish, first, different sorts of food, second, 
different animals of the same species, foes or mates, and 
finally, the purity or pollution of the medium in which they 

358 Sensational Consciousness of Animals 

live. 1 Well-known observations prove that insects are 
affected by olfactory stimuli: for example, one of Lub- 
bock's ants stopped short when she came to a scented 
object; and another observer checked a fight, among a 
group of pavement ants, by placing a cologne-saturated 
paper near them. Lower in the scale, medusae, and prob- 
ably even unicellular animals, react to olfactory stimuli. 

Taste and smell have, together, the biological importance 
of the ' chemical sense ' ; for both smell and taste test the 
chemical constitution of food, and smell has still other pri- 
mary functions, of which the most important is the detection 
of foes and of mates. Therefore, animals who are defi- 
cient in taste and smell sensations are likely to fall a prey 
to their foes or to their own indiscriminate appetites, or else 
to fail of securing mates ; and in either case, they will not 
propagate their species. The careful experimental observa- 
tions of Professor Wesley Mills, on young vertebrates, have 
shown that, next to pressure, taste and smell are their very 
earliest sensations. In chicks and in young guinea pigs, 
Mills noticed smell and taste sensations in the very earliest 
hours. The great sensibility of rabbits' lips to pressure- 
stimuli made it hard to test their sensibility to taste, but 
there were signs of reaction to taste-stimuli on the first 
day. The dogs were later in their taste and smell dis- 
criminations, but mongrel puppies developed more quickly 
than terriers, and the terriers, in their turn, were more pre- 
cocious than larger dogs, St. Bernards. " On the seventh 
day," according to Mills, 2 "when aloes is placed on the 
finger, the latter is not long sucked," by the St. Bernard 
puppy, and "the facial movements indicate disgust "; the 
mongrel performs the same actions on the second day. 
Both smell and taste are in general earlier in the cat 3 than 
in the dog, but cats, unlike dogs, rabbits and pigeons, seem 
earlier to have smell than taste sensations. There is little 

1 Cf. Zwaardemaker, " Physiologic des Geruchs," Appendix X. 

2 "Animal Intelligence," p. 119. 3 Op, cit., p. 222. 

Taste and Smell Sensations 359 

doubt, as every one knows, that vertebrates have a more 
delicate consciousness of smell than that of human beings, 
though the odors which they most closely discriminate may 
be different from those whose variations we best distin- 
guish. A dog, for example, must recognize a greater 
variety of animal smells than his master distinguishes, but 
it is possible that the man discriminates more rose-fragrances 
than the dog does. Every reader of sporting tales knows 
the pains which the hunter has to take to cover his scent 
from the wild creatures ; and nobody can be long in the 
society of a dog, without realizing that his interest is 
centred in the smells of his environment. So a dog traces 
people through crowded streets by their footsteps, that is to 
say, by the odor of their boots, even when the boots have 
been soaked in anise ; and it is likely that a room full of 
people, significant to most of us for its colors and sounds, 
is regarded by an intelligent dog as a bewildering complex 
of smells, combined with a few dashes of color and, here 
and there, a sound. Readers of Kipling's Jungle Books will 
remember, how often the story turns on the keen smell- 
discriminations of the animals, the ' hair-trigger-like sensi- 
tiveness of a jungle-nose,' as it is called ; and admirers of 
Ernest Seton Thompson's animal heroes have laughed at 
the discomfiture of the trapper who, wearing a pair of 
gloves steeped in the blood of a heifer, encased poison 
in a capsule and then inserted it in lumps of fat, only to 
find his bait avoided by the wolf, whose nose defied even 
these precautions. 

A comparison of the brain and nostrils of a mammalian 
animal, with the human brain and nose, shows an anatomi- 
cal basis for the animal's superiority in smell-discrimination/ 
The olfactory lobes of the human brain are merely small 
protuberances on its lower median surface, whereas the 
olfactory lobes of a dog's, a sheep's, or a calf's brain, pro- 
trude far forward and form a distinct division of the brain. 
The mammalia are not, however, the only vertebrates who 
have smell-sensations, though smell-sensations seem to be 

360 Sensational Consciousness of Animals 

unimportant in birds and in reptiles. Vultures, for exam- 
ple, do not discover food which they cannot see. 1 On the 
other hand, fishes appear to smell, though the smell-stimu- 
lus must, of course, be in solution. They certainly detect 
their food from afar, and though they have no cerebrum and 
therefore no olfactory lobe, yet within their nasal cavities 
is a sensory epithelium with olfactory cells. 

It has already been implied that many kinds of animals 
are not proved to have sensations of warmth and of cold. 
But it is very evident that vertebrates experience both cold 
and warmth. Nobody who has lived with a cat really doubts 
that cats, at least, have sensations of warmth, and that they 
revel in them. The cat's unerring choice of an abiding- 
place on the sunny window-sill, on the narrow path of the 
sunlight across the carpet, or on the section of the floor 
which conceals hot-water pipes is clear enough proof of 
this. The huddled cattle on a bleak prairie also seem to 
be feeling the cold. Mr. Mills, in his diaries of early ani- 
mal life, notes that cats, dogs, rabbits and pigeons are 
sensitive in the first days of life to warmth and cold. Of 
pigeons, Mills says : 2 " One can quiet the most disturbed 
and pugnacious young one by gently holding the warm 
hand, a warm cloth, etc., over it. A single cold day is liable 
to kill young pigeons if their parents do not sit on them con- 
stantly, and sometimes even when they do. The essential 
vital processes of the body seem to be deranged by cold." 

We come, finally, to the higher sensations, so-called, of 
hearing and vision. First of all, it is important to notice 
that response to light-stimulation is no clear evidence of 
visual sensations. Earthworms, for instance, have no 
kind or description of eye, yet their movements show 
pretty clearly that they are sensitive to light and to dark- 
ness. We cannot suppose that vision exists until there is 
some sort of visual organ ; and we must, therefore, infer 

1 Cf. Morgan, op. cit., p. 256. 2 "Animal Intelligence," p. 254. 

Visual Sensations 361 

first, that the light presumably affects the skin of an eye- 
less animal (which reacts to it), by bringing about a chemical 
change, and second, that the consciousness, if any exist, is 
of contact. The earliest form of eye is a pigment-spot in 
the skin, an area differentiated from the surrounding skin, 
often provided with a sort of lens, and always affected by 
the change from light to dark. It is found, for example, 
in some forms of mollusca and in the very lowest verte- 
brates. The second form is the facetted eye, familiar to 
us in the fly and in the bee. It consists in a large number 
of little cone-shaped organs, each of which transmits only 
the ray of light which passes directly through it ; oblique 
rays are absorbed by the pigmented material with which 
these cones are surrounded. The result is a miniature 
* stippled,' or mosaic, reproduction of the field of vision, 
since each of the thousand cones transmits light from one 
point only. A third type of eye, found also in insects, is 
the ocellus a small eye, consisting mainly of lens, retina 
and rods, and of use, it is supposed, in darkness and for 
near objects. There is, finally, the true eye, with its lens 
and its retina, found in crustaceans and in most verte- 
brates. The eyes of quadrupeds are usually larger, 
further apart and more Affective than human eyes. The 
whole field of vision is larger, for there is less overlapping 
of the two fields. For these reasons, vision as well as 
smell reaches its greatest acuteness below man. The 
keener night vision of the beasts is explained by the fact 
that the pupil (which often contracts to a narrow slit) may 
also dilate very widely. 

The mammalia are not the only animals distinguished 
by their keen sight. Mr. Bateson describes the vision of 
a fish (the wrasse) which " can see a shrimp with certainty 
when the whole body is buried in gray sand, excepting the 
antennae and antenna plates." 1 And Morgan instances 2 

1 Journal of Marine Biological Association, N. S., I., 2 and 3. Quoted by 
Morgan, op. cit., p. 287. 2 Op. cit., p. 256. 

362 Sensational Consciousness of Animals 

the unerring aim of small lobsters, who plunge from con- 
siderable heights into tiny crevices of a rock. 

Sensations of color, also, are not a perquisite of verte- 
brate animals. Sir John Lubbock, one of the first of the 
enthusiastic and careful students of the animal conscious- 
ness, showed clearly that his bees distinguished blue from 
orange. For when he placed honey on papers of both 
colors, they constantly chose the honey from the blue 
background, persisting in this even when the position of 
the papers was changed. One bee, we are told, 1 " returned 
to the orange spot and was just going to alight when she 
observed the change of color, pulled herself up, and with- 
out hesitation darted off to the blue." To Lubbock we 
owe, also, an experiment on water-fleas (daphnias), which 
suggests that their susceptibility to color-stimuli may be 
different from ours. 2 The daphnias, placed in water on 
which a spectrum was thrown, at first crowded in greatest 
numbers into the part which was green, though some were 
found in each of the differently colored parts of the water. 
Next, however, Lubbock covered, and thus darkened, the 
visible spectrum, leaving the daphnias free to collect in 
this darkened space or in the ultra-violet part of the spec- 
trum, which, of course, is equally dark to human eyes. 
But two hundred and eighty-six of the three hundred 
daphnias thronged the ultra-violet part, suggesting, as 
Morgan says, that they are " sensible to ultra-violet rays 
beyond the limits of human vision." 3 

The phenomena of protective coloration are an argu- 
ment, if one be needed, to the wide prevalence of color- 
sensations among the vertebrates. The facts are these: 
the weaker edible animals are so colored that they resem- 
ble their surroundings ; the caterpillar is dull green like 
the leaves on which it feeds, the plover's eggs are like the 
stones among which they are laid, and the brilliant coral fish 

1 " Ants, Bees and Wasps," p. 292. Ibid., p. 295. 

2 Lubbock, British Assoc. Report, 1881. Cf. Morgan, op. cit., p. 295. 

Auditory Sensations 363 

is no brighter than the coral reefs among which he lives. 1 
The probable explanation is the following : highly colored 
animals, being more conspicuous, fall a prey to stronger 
creatures, and have thus no chance to propagate their 
species. The protectively colored individuals, on the other 
hand, are preserved and transmit their coloration. This 
explanation presupposes, on the part of the animals who 
devour, a discrimination of the colors of their prey. 

The study of the auditory consciousness of animals is 
rendered difficult, by the uncertainty whether certain organs 
are adapted to stimulation by sounds, or whether they are 
excitable merely by shocks and concussions. Of course, 
there is no doubt that mammals and birds have both a keen 
and a delicate discrimination of sounds. The mobility of 
the outer ear of many animals facilitates the distinction 
of sound-directions ; for example, when a dog faces sud- 
denly about and pricks up his ears, the sounds are probably 
better reflected from the lifted ears, than from the nor- 
mally drooping ears. The facility of birds, in imitating the 
calls of other birds and even human sounds, is evidence of 
their delicate discrimination. "No one," Morgan says, 2 
" who has watched a thrush listening for worms, can doubt 
that her ear is highly sensitive." 

But almost all animals, even those much lower in the 
scale, seem sensitive to sound. Even the earthworm, which 
has nothing like an auditory organ, appears to be affected 
by sound ; and most invertebrates have simple organs, ap- 
parently auditory, either ' auditory pits,' depressions in 
the skin, or else closed sacs containing the small stony par- 
ticles called otoliths. These supposedly auditory organs 
are very differently distributed in different animals : they 
are found near the edge of the umbrella of certain jelly-fish, 
in the muscular foot of the fresh-water mussel, in the anten- 
nules of lobsters, in the abdomen of locusts and in the legs 
of certain insects. But, as has been hinted already, it is not 

1 Cf. Morgan, op. dt. y pp. 82-83. 2 Op. cit., p. 264. 

364 Sensational Consciousness of Animals 

possible to prove that the little pits and the tubes containing 
otoliths are auditory organs at all. The otoliths of the 
human ear belong, we remember, to the semicircular canals, 
whose function is to condition a consciousness of bodily 
position ; and it is not impossible that the auditory pits 
serve a similar end, in other words, that, although they are 
stimulated, like auditory organs, by the contact of the vibrat- 
ing air, they serve to excite pressure-sensations. This is 
the more likely, because these undeveloped auditory organs 
are often connected with hairs ; and hairs are usually organs 
of contact-sensations. 

The comparative development of vision and hearing is 
most easily studied, in the case of young vertebrates. All 
those on whom Mills experimented were born both blind 
and deaf. He finds that the eyes open before the ears, but 
that " hearing follows sooner on complete opening of the 
ears than seeing on opening of the eyes." * For example, 
on the fourteenth day, a St. Bernard dog gave no sign of 
hearing a shrill dog-whistle, and only on the seventeenth 
day was there a twitching of the ears in response to the 
sound. But this same dog did not follow an object with 
his eyes till its eighteenth day. Both the cats and the rab- 
bits saw and heard several days earlier than the dogs, and 
the guinea pigs and pigeons were more precocious than 
either. Yet, except in the case of the guinea pigs, who 
could both see and hear a few hours after birth, all these 
animals responded later to visual, than to auditory, stimulus. 

From this summary, certain general results emerge. 
Observation of animal sensations confirms, in the first 
place, the teaching of evolutionists, that development is, in 
a measure, parallel within different animal sub-kingdoms. 
We do not find, for example, that the sense-experience of 
all vertebrates is fuller than that of certain members of 
other sub-kingdoms. On the other hand, the lower verte- 
brates reptiles, for example are less sensitive to light, 

1 op. dt., p. 172. 

Sensational Consciousness of Animals 365 

sound and smell, than many insects. As Morgan says 
about ants and bees, " We must be careful to avoid the error 
of supposing that because they happen to have no back-bone, 
they are necessarily low in the scale of life and intelligence. 
The tree of life," he adds, " has many branches, and . . . 
there is no reason why the bee and the ant in their branch 
of life should not have attained as high a development of 
structure and intelligence as the dog and the elephant in 
their branch. ' ' A different illustration of progressive devel- 
opment, within an animal sub-kingdom, is furnished by the 
mollusks. Some mollusks have no visual organ, some have 
only a pigment spot, and some have developed eyes. It 
is, therefore, perfectly evident that mollusks differ widely 
in the possession or in the degree of visual consciousness. 

Our second general conclusion is a very obvious one : 
the higher vertebrates probably possess all the different 
sorts of sense-experience, which characterize the human 
consciousness, and yet they must be widely different from 
us, not only in the range of their sensational experiences, 
but also in the character of the affective consciousness, 
which accompanies their perceptions. Given a man and a 
dog in a summer meadow, and it is pretty certain that the 
dog will care far more for the smells and far less for the 
colors than the man does. 

Finally, we must emphasize once more our initial warn- 
ing. We know nothing, after all, and can barely venture 
to infer anything about the consciousness of animals of 
the lower orders. That earthworms, who have no visual 
organs, and daphnias, who have only eye-spots, are affected 
by visual stimuli, is definitely proved. But that their move- 
ments are accompanied by sensation, still more, that they 
are accompanied by visual sensation, is surely beyond the 
power of demonstration. 

There is no doubt at all that the higher vertebrates and 
the insects possess sense-images, as well as sense-percepts. 
The dog who bounds up from his lazy drowsiness, at sound 

366 Imagination of Animals 

of a footstep, has probably before his mind the image 
'man'; and, as Morgan observes, 1 the bird who hops 
about the lawn tapping, here and there, and then listen- 
ing eagerly for the sound of the worm, has almost cer- 
tainly been impelled to the hopping and the tapping by 
the image of a fat and luscious worm. 

The images of animals are, of course, mainly in terms of 
the sensations which most interest them, and need not, 
therefore, closely resemble our images of the same objects 
or scenes. A dog's image, of Quincy Market on Christmas 
Eve, would be a bewildering consciousness of exciting 
smells ; a man's image would be mainly visual, a complex 
of dark buildings, flaring lights, the ruddy coloring of the 
meat and vegetable stalls, and the green of Christmas 
wreaths. This wide difference, in the predominant image- 
qualities of animals and of men, is well suggested by a 
single expression in one of the Jungle Book stories. Mow- 
gli was entering Messua's hut, " when he felt a touch on 
his foot. ' Mother,' said he, for he knew that tongue well, 
' what dost thou here ? ' ' Evidently the feel of Mother 
Wolf's tongue, which had so often lapped him in the old 
cave-home, was an important part of Mowgli's image of her. 

Many of these images of an animal's consciousness must 
be accurate repetitions of past experience, that is, memory 
images. The dog who refuses to eat from anything save 
a certain cracked, brown plate, must remember either the 
look or the feel of the dish ; the cat who leaves her post 
on the porch and chases about the house to the window- 
sill outside the dining room, must remember that this is 
her usual avenue of approach to the breakfast-table. 


We have so far found reason to conclude that at least 
the ' higher ' animals have a rich and full sensational con- 
sciousness, affectively toned. Postponing for the present 

* "Animal Life and Intelligence," p. 350. 

Relational Consciousness of Animals 367 

the further discussion of their emotional experience, we 
must face the question : do animals have relational con- 
sciousness? It is not strange, indeed, that the answer 
should be difficult, for one of the physiological tests of 
sensational experience is lacking here, in the nature of the 
case : there are no end-organs of relational elements of 
consciousness, and we have only, therefore, the movements 
of animals, from which to infer the presence or absence of 
these relational elements. Moreover, the bodily move- 
ments, indicative of relational experience, are far harder to 
interpret than the simple motor response to the sensational 

I. Recognition 

There is and can be no evidence, for or against the fact 
that animals have a consciousness of familiarity. This 
does not mean that there is no evidence of animal mem- 
ory : on the other hand, we have seen from their actions 
that animals must possess memory images, that is, images 
which reproduce their past experience. But we cannot 
know positively whether or not a feeling of familiarity 
accompanies these images, in other words, whether the 
dog recognizes the cracked, brown plate, or whether the 
cat knows the sunny window-sill as ' the familiar thing 
which I've met before.' Our ignorance is due, not only to 
the absence of any end-organs of familiarity-feeling, but 
also to the fact that no bodily actions are sufficiently char- 
acteristic of familiarity-feeling to distinguish it. The evi- 
dence of its existence is thus, as we have found, 1 purely 
introspective. Evidently, therefore, though we rightly 
conclude that animals remember, we simply do not know 
whether or not they recognize. 

2. Thought 

No problem of animal psychology is more hotly dis- 
puted than the question, do animals have thoughts ? It 

i Cf. Chapter XIX. 

368 Animal Reasoning 

will be remembered that the test of the presence of 
thoughts in experience is the test of direct introspection. 
Our decisive question is always : have we the feeling 
of any-ness or of wholeness ? Obviously, this test can- 
not be applied in a study of the animal consciousness. 
The only basis for argument is, as we have seen, the bod- 
ily movements of the animals ; and these, it is once more 
evident, are not so easy of interpretation as mere motion 
to and from sense-stimuli. None the less, we have no re- 
source, save to study the actions of animals, with intent 
to discover if they act as they could not act without 

This necessary limitation of our method means a limita- 
tion of the scope of our study. For no distinctive and 
externally observable form of bodily reaction accompanies 
the comparison, the general notion, the single judgment 
or even the synthetic reasoning. We are left then with 
the one question : do animals reason analytically ; * in 
other words, do they perform acts which can only be 
explained, on the supposition that they abstract single 
features from total situations, and then combine these 
into novel conclusions ? 

There is, of course, no earthly doubt that the higher 
animals, invertebrate as well as vertebrate, act as they 
would act if they reasoned. People who argue the affirm- 
ative of our question heap up tale after tale, each well 
authenticated, and yet each more astounding than the last, 
of these ' rational ' acts of our animal friends. They tell, 
for example, how a South African beetle extricated his 
load, from a hollow out of which he could not roll it: 
" Leaving the ball, he butted down the sand at one end 
of the hollow, so as to produce an inclined plane of much 
less angle, up which he then without difficulty pushed his 
burden." 2 Romanes has a story of birds who scatter when 
they light on thin ice so that their weight is divided ; and 

1 Cf. Chapter XVIII., throughout. 2 Morgan, op. cit., p. 368. 

Animal Reasoning 369 

somebody else tells the tale of a dog who calculates, in 
swimming across a harbor, the allowance to be made for 
incoming or outgoing tide. An unpublished tale shall con- 
clude this series, which might be indefinitely lengthened. 
It is the story of a terrier, who has been trained to carry 
home the newspaper from the five o'clock train. He now 
goes to the train unattended, and leaves the house exactly 
at the whistle of the four-forty-five train. " He was never 
taught to do this," his owner explains, " so, of course, 
he reasons that this will give him just time to reach the 
station at five o'clock." 

Writers, who believe that animals reason, do not fail to 
point out the probability that animals ' attend,' that is, that 
their percepts are clear, narrowed, prolonged and sugges- 
tive. Perceptual attention seems to be, indeed, as Ribot 
says, ' a condition of life.' "The carnivorous animal that 
had not its attention roused on sight of prey would stand 
but a poor chance of survival ; the prey that had not its 
attention roused by the sight of its natural enemy would 
stand but a poor chance of escape." 1 Now the fact that 
animals appear to be attentive to some parts of their total 
environment, certainly suggests that they have analytic 
judgments, because, as we have seen, the emphasized part 
of an analytic judgment is always an ' abstracted ' or 
attended-to portion of it. But we have no right to the 
conclusion that animals are proved to reason, in other 
words, to reach conclusions by mediate inference, until 
we have satisfied ourselves that these ' rational ' acts could 
not have been unreasoningly performed by the immediate 
association, due to past experience, of some imaged act. 
The only conceivable criterion of the inevitably-reasoned 
act is, thus, the one which James suggests, its entire novelty. 
The dog who saw a boat full of water and, obeying his mas- 
ter's gestures, ran back to the house, returning with a 
sponge, has been regarded as a reasoning dog, because 

1 Morgan, op. '/., p. 343. 

370 Animal Reasoning 

though he was never trained to carry the sponge to the boat, 
he had none the less 'reasoned ' that it was wanting. But 
James is correct in the remark that the dog may have re- 
membered past observations of boat cleaning. The act 
"might fairly have been called an act of reasoning 
proper," James adds, 1 " if unable to find the sponge at 
the house, he had brought back a dipper or mop." 

In the opinion of the writer, who follows Morgan and 
James in this view, this test of entire novelty, as criterion 
of the reasoned act, has never been fully met. The most 
rational-appearing acts of animals may have followed upon 
immediately suggested images, and not upon conclusions 
mediately reached through analysis. The beetle, the dogs 
and the birds, heroes of our stories about apparent reason- 
ing, may have performed the acts, so admirably adapted 
to secure their desires, purely as repetitions of acts already 
performed. In accordance with this view, Morgan analyzes 
the act of the dog who seems to allow for the current. 
" The dog," he says, " has presumably had frequent experi- 
ence of the effect of the stream in carrying him with it. 
He has been carried beyond the landing-place, and had 
bother with the mud ; but when he has entered the stream 
higher up, he has nearly, if not quite, reached the landing- 
stage. His keen perceptions come to his aid, and he 
adjusts his action nicely to effect his purpose. On th^ 
bank sits a young student watching him. He sees in the 
dog's action a problem, which he runs over rapidly in his 
mind. ' Velocity of stream, two miles an hour. Width, 
one-eighth of a mile. Dog takes ten minutes to swim 
one-eighth of a mile. Distance flowed by the stream in 
ten minutes, one-third of a mile. Clever dog that ! He 
allows just about the right distance. A little short, though. 
Has rather a struggle at the end.' The dog intelligently 
performs the feat; the lad reasons it out." 

In a similar way, we may account for the action of the 

1 Op. dt., Vol. II., pp. 349-35- 

Animal Reasoning 371 

little dog, who seems to have reasoned that fifteen minutes 
is necessary to reach the station. The shrill whistle of the 
earlier train excites an image of his habitual scamper, late 
in the afternoon, to the station ; and he is off at once, be- 
cause the image inevitably excites his movements, not 
because he has analyzed the situation and reasoned out the 
time between the trains. 

This view of the case is sustained by the results of care- 
ful experiments, performed by Dr. Edward Thorndike, on 
dogs, cats and chicks. His method is the following : J 
the animals are placed, when hungry, in large boxes, from 
which they can " escape and so get food only by manipu- 
lating some simple mechanism (e.g. by pulling down a loop 
of wire, depressing a lever or turning a button)." Dr. 
Thorndike finds that a young animal usually chances to 
make the proper movement, in the course of its instinctive 
reactions, clawing, biting, attempting to squeeze through 
holes ; that this movement, probably because of the pleas- 
antness of the escape, tends to be remembered, and that 
therefore " after repeated trials, the animal will perform 
the act immediately on being confronted with the situa- 
tion." So far, of course, the experiment seems to indicate 
that these animals do perform mechanical operations by 
merely recalling and repeating their chance movements, 
but the experiment does not prove that its subjects might 
not also perform these acts through reasoning. The 
disproof of this reasoning hypothesis seems to be sup- 
plied, by the discovery that " in the case of some difficult 
associations," the animals, "would happen to do the thing 
six or seven times, but after long periods of promiscuous 
scrabbling, and then forever after would fail to do it." 
Dr. Thorndike is quite correct in the remark : " If they 
had acted from inference in any case, they ought not 
to have failed in the seventh or eighth trial. What had 

1 Monograph Supplement No. 8, of the Psychological Review. Cf. Psyche* 
logical Review, Vol. V., p. 550. 

372 The Animal Consciousness 

been inferred six times should have been inferred the 

The theory that animals do not reason is bound to en- 
rage their most ardent admirers. These gentle souls must 
console themselves with two reflections : first, the reiterated 
truth that all conclusions about animals are mere inference. 
The demonstration that animals have not been proved to 
reason is not equivalent, therefore, to a positive proof that 
they do not reason. It is even more important to bear in 
mind that reasoning is not essential to an alert and many- 
sided intelligence. As has been said so often, the immedi- 
ately associated image may lead to the same result, in action, 
as the reasoned conclusion. In questioning the ability of 
the higher animals to reason, we are not, therefore, ques- 
tioning their capacity to act effectively, or their possession 
of rich percepts and of swift-coming images. We are, it 
is true, denying their rationality, in the technical sense of 
that word, but we are freely admitting the wide scope and 
the wonderful adaptation of their intelligence. 1 


It is generally agreed that the sense-experience of the 
' higher ' animals often gives them pleasure or dissatisfac- 
tion. The presence, in their consciousness, of these 
pleasures and dissatisfactions is argued mainly from the 
persistence, with which they seek certain situations and 
avoid others. The emotional experience is also inferred 
from the observation of specific movements of expansion 
or depression, which in human beings have been observed 
to accompany the affective experience. 2 

Admitting, therefore, that many animals have pleasant 
and unpleasant experiences, we shall next briefly consider 
the indications which they give of emotions, complex states 

1 Cf. throughout, Morgan, op. cit., Chapter IX.; and James, op. cit., Vol. II., 
Chapter XXI., pp. 348 seq. * Cf. Chapter XX. pp. 287 seq. 

Affections and Emotions 373 

in which affections predominate. No one doubts that the 
higher animals experience the basal and primitive emo- 
tions, happiness, unhappiness, hope and fear. Darwin has 
contrasted the appearance of a dog, when cheerful, his 
' high steps, head much raised, moderately erected ears and 
tail carried aloft,' with the attitude of the same animal de- 
jected and disappointed, with his * head, ears, body, tail and 
chops drooping, and eyes dull.' 1 The contrasted attitudes, 
in their general aspects, are exhibited by other animals, and 
are an evident result, of either strengthened or relaxed 
muscular contraction. The bodily accompaniments of fear 
trembling, for example are essentially the accentuated 
marks of disappointment or grief, but these are followed 
by violent contractions of the flexor muscles : 2 dogs, for 
instance, in moments of fear, like their ancestors, the 
wolves and jackals, 'tuck in their tails,' and often lay back 
their ears, instead of merely drooping them, as in grief. 

We must, of course, guard ourselves carefully from too 
exact and assured an interpretation of these bodily atti- 
tudes of so-called joy, grief and fear. They are probably, 
as we have seen, 3 the developed and abbreviated forms of 
movements of advance and retreat, which may well have 
been originally performed without consciousness. Further- 
more, though the capering movements or the drooping ears 
and tail are almost certainly accompanied by emotion, we 
have yet no assurance about the exact nature of that emo- 
tion. It is not, for instance, safe to conclude that the dog 
with tail between his legs and trembling limbs, in a heavy 
thunderstorm, is ' afraid of the thunder ' precisely as the 
trembling child is afraid of it. A certain primitive fear, a 
thoroughly unpleasant consciousness of deafening sound 
and blinding light and trembling limbs, the dog may cer- 
tainly be supposed to share with the man. But everything 
which the child has heard or learned to increase his fear, 

1 "Expression of the Emotions," pp. 57 and 122. 
1 Cf. Chapter XX., p. 292. 8 Ibid., p. 296. 

374 The Consciousness of Animals 

every anticipation of house in flames, property lost, eyes 
blinded, must be lacking in the dog's experience. In other 
words, the emotional experience of animals is limited by 
the range of their imagination : the traditional past, which 
they do not know, and the wide future, which they cannot 
foresee, do not enter into their emotional life ; whereas, we 
human beings as often grieve and joy for the imagined 
as for the seen. 

We have purposely neglected the discussion of the 
strictly social emotions of animals their love and their 
sympathy, because the study r of these experiences is 
undertaken in the following section of this chapter. 


We have so far considered the problems of animal psy- 
chology, from the strictly analytic standpoint, merely try- 
ing to discover the structural elements of the consciousness 
of animals. We have now to inquire, whether animals give 
evidence of a consciousness of themselves in relation to 
other selves. We are, of course, inclined to the belief that 
they do have some sort of self -consciousness, because our 
own consciousness is always, in some sense, a consciousness 
of self, so that we cannot conceive of an utterly impersonal 
consciousness. But we have more external evidence of the 
self-consciousness of animals. A study of their pairing, 
mating and herding undoubtedly suggests to us that they 
have a certain consciousness of their fellows, that is, in 
the wider sense of the term a social consciousness. 

The relation of the higher animals with human beings 
gives further evidence that they possess a social conscious- 
ness. The ecstatic leaps and barks and tail waggings with 
which a dog, who has watched unmoved a hundred pass- 
ers-by, dashes forward to greet his master, seems to show, 
not merely the recognition of a familiar footfall or odor, 
but the acknowledgment of his master himself. No part 

Personal and Social Consciousness 375 

of the Odysseus tale is more real to us, than the story of 
the faithful dog Argos who, alone, knew Odysseus, returned 
after the long years of wandering. The old dog, we are 
told, " wagged his tail and laid back both his ears, and was 
then overtaken by the fate of black death." 

As a matter of fact, then, we usually do attribute to ani- 
mals a personal consciousness, beginning always with the 
consciousness of a relation between ourselves and them. 
We smile at the story of Dr. John Brown leaning far out 
of his carriage to follow with his eyes " a dog who is one 
of my friends"; but most of us number animals among our 
acquaintances, and we naturally suppose them to realize 
their relation to ourselves and to each other. Indeed, the 
reason why we revel in Kipling's Jungle Books and in Er- 
nest Seton Thompson's closer studies of animal life is that 
both writers successfully individualize their animals, and 
necessarily, therefore, treat them as conscious selves in 
personal relations with other selves. "This," says Mr. 
Thompson, " is the principle I have tried to apply to my 
animals. The real personality of the individual and his 
view of life are my theme, rather than the race in general." 

But it is time to pull ourselves up, rather sharply, with 
this question : have we not been proceeding, somewhat 
sentimentally, to attribute our own feelings to the animals ? 
We have really been arguing from the fact that, when we 
caress our friends or rush to meet them, we are neither fol- 
lowing blind instincts nor mindful of any mere trick of 
voice or attitude, but profoundly conscious of other selves. 
It is not certain, however, that animals perform similar 
acts with this same sort of personal consciousness ; and we 
must remember, furthermore, that we ourselves often 
bestow caresses in a perfectly mechanical and impersonal 
way. We should therefore scrutinize, with especial care, 
our constant inference that animals love the people or the 
other animals, whom they caress or fawn upon. Darwin, 
for instance, vividly pictures the dog who " suddenly dis- 
covers that the man who is approaching is his master. 

376 The Consciousness of Animals 

Instead of walking upright, the body sinks downward or 
even crouches, and is thrown into flexuous movements; 
his tail, instead of being held stiff and upright, is lowered 
and wagged from side to side ; his hair instantly becomes 
smooth ; his ears are depressed and drawn backward, but 
not closely to the head ; and his lips hang loosely. From 
the drawing back of the ears, the eyelids become elongated, 
and the eyes no longer appear round and staring." 1 To 
this description, whose accuracy no one questions, Darwin 
adds a statement, which might conceivably be challenged, 
when he says that these movements are " clearly express- 
ive of affection." For though there is no doubt that most 
of us interpret these movements as Darwin does, yet we 
cannot prove that they express more than impersonal sat- 
isfaction with familiar odor, look or ' feel' A story like 
the one which follows strongly suggests this doubt : 

A Llama herdsman, whose cow had lost her calf, replaced 
the living calf by the skin of the little beast, rudely stuffed 
with hay. " The mamma," writes Mr. Hamerton, who tells 
the story, 2 " opened enormous eyes at her beloved infant ; 
by degrees she stooped her head toward it, then smelt at it 
. . . and at last proceeded to lick it with the most delight- 
ful tenderness." The sequel of the story shakes one's faith 
in the permanence of this emotion. " By dint of caressing 
and licking her little calf, the tender parent one fine morn- 
ing unripped it. The hay issued from within, and the cow, 
manifesting not the slightest surprise nor agitation, pro- 
ceeded tranquilly to devour the unexpected provender." 

Mr. Morgan rightly observes that the cow, " if she could 
think at all, was not to be reproached for her want of sur- 
prise at finding calfskin stuffed with hay. She had pre- 
sumably," as he says, " some little experience in putting 
hay inside. Why not find hay inside ? " We, however, 
are concerned with another difficulty. If the caresses of 

1 Op. cit., p. 51. 

8 " Chapters on Animals," p. 9, quoted by Morgan, op. cit., p. 333. 

Personal and Social Consciousness 377 

a cow's tongue really are what Darwin calls them, ' a strik- 
ing way of exhibiting affection,' then the emotion of this 
deceived mother must have been . of an indescribably 
evanescent character, else she would have shown some 
grief at the untimely loss of her child, instead of tranquilly 
replacing the satisfaction of licking calfskin by the pleas- 
ure of eating hay. The truth is, that the cow was probably 
never deceived at all. She licked the stuffed calfskin be- 
cause she enjoyed the taste and the feel of it, not because 
she took it for her lost calf. The story, therefore, is dis- 
turbing to our preconceived ideas, not because it proves 
that the cow did not love her calf and grieve for it for 
on these points the tale is silent but because it proves 
that the caresses of a cow's tongue are indications of sen- 
sational satisfaction, not expressions of maternal emotion. 

The imitations of animals are urged as another evidence 
of their personal social consciousness. Some observers, it 
is true, do not admit that the imitativeness of animals has 
been demonstrated, 1 but most of them agree that certain 
acts of the higher animals are imitations. Of course, no 
one claims that all common animal activities are imitative. 
At one and the same moment, on a summer morning, a 
group of hens will march proudly about a barnyard, cut- 
cut-ca-da-cutting after the same exultant fashion. Yet 
their simultaneous duckings are not imitations, but rather 
the expressions of individual instinct : each hen would have 
clucked as loudly if all her sisters had fallen a prey to the 
hawk or to the poulterer. When, however, both instinc- 
tive and accidental ' common ' activities have been excluded, 
there remain tolerably clear examples of activities, acquired 
by animals through imitation. Wesley Mills, for example, 
vouches for the story of a kitten which could not be taught 
to jump, until it had seen its mother perform the trick, and 
Morgan concludes, from experimental observation, that 
ducks enter the water only through imitation of their 

1 Cf. E. B. Thorndike, op. cit. 

378 The Consciousness of Animals 

mothers, but that, once they have touched the water, they 
swim instinctively. But admitting the occurrence of imita- 
tive animal activities, it is none the less impossible to regard 
them as certain proof of a social consciousness, a recogni- 
tion of other selves. The imitativeness of animals does, 
indeed, indicate the existence of a social life among them, 
but this is not the same as a social consciousness, and does 
not necessarily show even a faint consciousness of ' me ' 
and ' thee.' 

We conclude, therefore, that animal caresses and animal 
imitations suggest, yet can never prove, the existence of 
a social consciousness. Our belief in the conscious social 
life of animals rests, however, on far more unambiguous 
evidence, than these imitated games and activities and these 
flexuous movements and impetuous tail-waggings. This 
stronger evidence consists in the deliberate actions of ani- 
mals, contrary to their habits and to their instincts of self- 
preservation. The lives of animal mothers are full of 
illustrations of these altruistic acts. Swallows who fly 
into burning houses to save their young, partridges who 
draw the attention of sportsmen from their nests to them- 
selves and whales who run the risk of the harpoon, that 
they may not desert their wounded children, give proof, we 
are apt to conclude, of personal feeling. The attitude of 
Seton Thompson's hero, Lobo, the king of Currumpaw, to 
Blanca his mate, forms a striking illustration of this per- 
sonal relation between animals. Lobo was a wolf who, for 
years, guarded himself and his followers from every device 
of man, who detected poison in the cunningest preparations 
and discovered the most exquisitely hidden traps. But 
when Lobo's mate, the white wolf Blanca, was captured, he 
wandered about, recklessly following her tracks, and was 
caught at once by the traps which never before had de- 
ceived him. It is almost impossible to read the story, with- 
out sharing the conviction of its writer, that in some 
inarticulate way Lobo cared for Blanca. If his actions 
were not due to personal emotion, then they must have 

Personal and Social Consciousness 379 

been occasioned by some intense sensational impulse, for 
example, by the frenzied following of an intoxicating odor. 
But it is hard to imagine that a mere sensational impulse 
of this sort could triumph over the lifelong habit, itself 
founded on sensational instincts, of avoiding poison. It is 
surely simpler to attribute Lobo's tragic end to some sort 
of affection for Blanca. Even more convincing a story, of 
a habit broken down by emotion, is the tale of Vixen, the 
fox, who deliberately poisoned her own child, when repeated 
attempts to rescue it from captivity had failed. There is, 
indeed, no lack of well-authenticated examples of animals, 
who check instinctive reactions of self-preservation or 
antagonism, who relinquish pleasures and seek pains, 
through the influence of some other self, animal or human. 
The frequent instances in which an animal restrains him- 
self from biting the hand of the master, who dresses his 
wounds, cannot always be explained as due to the anticipa- 
tion of help : very often they seem to indicate, on the part 
of an animal, a sympathetic consciousness, " It would hurt 
the man if I should bite him." This victory of personal 
consciousness, over merely sensational reaction, is curiously 
illustrated by the mock-fighting of animals. Actual fight- 
ing may be explained as conscious, yet immediate, reflex 
activity. But a mock fight demands restraint of one's 
antagonistic activities, beyond a certain point; and there 
seems to be no reason for this restraint save a conscious- 
ness of " the other fellow something like me, whom I do 
not want to hurt." 

The personal consciousness of animals must, however, 
be very different from the personal consciousness of the 
developed human being, more closely connected with 
primitive wants, and more limited to experiences of the 
present hour and the immediate surroundings. Our con- 
clusion, that many animals feel affection and sympathy, 
must not, therefore, pave the way for a false interpreta- 
tion of their actions, as indication of vastly more complex 
personal experiences, The animal books are full of 

380 The Consciousness of Animals 

stories, which read into the animal consciousness emotions 
that are pretty certainly human. The dog with tail 
between his legs is pointed out as * evidently repentant ' ; 
the animal who hobbles about as if lame is described as 
' deliberately deceiving ' ; the monkey who has bitten his 
mistress is characterized as ' ashamed of himself, hiding his 
face in his hands and sitting quiet for a time.' x In all 
these instances, we observe directly only act or attitude, 
and straightway we interpret it, as we should if the actor 
were a human being, as indication of shame or of deceit. 
On the contrary, the alleged deception may be the unre- 
flective repetition of a movement, which has been in the 
past rewarded by petting and creature comfort ; the ' re- 
pentant' attitude may be mere shrinking from imagined 
punishment, or it may be, as was later found in the case of 
the ' repentant ' monkey, pure fatigue after a fit of passion. 
Our only source of knowledge about the unsensational con- 
sciousness of animals is, as we have seen, the observation 
of their movements and their attitudes. We can never 
argue from these alone that animals deliberate and will, 
still less, that they have a moral consciousness. 

Thus, we end, as we began, with frank admission of 
our unsatisfactory results. We have not merely, like all 
psychologists, substituted a study of the typical conscious- 
ness for the vivid, individual biography; but we have 
carried generalization still further, and have been prone to 
reach conclusions about 'animals,' instead of distinguishing, 
constantly and carefully, the different orders of animals. 
And we have been hampered, throughout, by the indirect- 
ness of our method the necessity of inferring conscious 
experiences from a study of end-organs and of bodily 
movements. We cannot, then, avoid the dispiriting con- 
clusion that we are deeply ignorant of the lives of our 
animal friends. The probable difference, in the scope and 

1 Romanes, "Animal Intelligence," p. 444. 

The Consciousness of Animals 381 

in the intensity of sensation, and the obvious difference 
in interest make their world of observation materially 
different from ours. Their ignorance of the unseen uni- 
verses, of history and of science, narrows their imagined 
world, beyond the power of our imagination to conceive. 
The number and precision of their instinctive acts stand 
them in the stead of reasoning. Therefore "we always," 
Mr. Hamerton says, 1 " commit one of two mistakes ; 
either we conclude the beasts have great knowledge be- 
cause they are so clever, or else we fancy that they must 
be stupid because they are so ignorant." We are not 
even able to interpret their suffering and their satisfac- 
tion, perhaps undervaluing its momentary poignancy, but, 
almost certainly, forgetting that they must be less con- 
scious than we of past and of future, and that they must, 
therefore, miss much of the sweetness and the anguish 
of anticipation, of the sadness and the delight of retro- 
spect. Still less can we venture to interpret dogmati- 
cally their social consciousness, their emotional relations 
to their fellows and to us. Yet perhaps we are nowhere 
safer in our inference, than in the conclusion that the con- 
sciousness of animals is, in some sense, like ours, a social 
one, and that they too may love and hate, may be treacher- 
ous or faithful. 

1 Quoted by Morgan, op. cit., p. 355. 



THE study of the conscious life of children is pursued, 
to-day, in part only, for the light it throws on problems of 
general psychology. 1 This relation to adult psychology is, 
to be sure, always recognized. The fundamental charac- 
teristics of the conscious life appear, it is evident, in greater 
isolation in the earlier periods of development, and although 
one can never argue, with certainty, from the presence or 
absence of an element of consciousness in an earlier stage 
of life, to its presence or absence at a later period, one may 
better learn to know it in the earlier and simpler conscious- 
ness, and thus more readily recognize it in the greater com- 
plexity of the developed consciousness. In the same way, 
then, in which we train ourselves to detect the overtones of 
a clang by listening, first, to the same tones in isolation, we 
shall better understand the emotions, for example, by 
studying fear in the life of the child who is not ashamed 
to betray his feeling, or by observing childish envy, whLh 
is unadulterated by moral scruple. 

The impetus toward child-study is, nevertheless, more 
personal than technical, and due rather to human interest 
than to scientific concern. One need not be a student 
one has only to be father or sister or teacher or kindly 
human being to be vitally interested, in the investigation 
of the conscious life, behind the sometimes impenetrable 
screen of child-eyes and child-lips, and in the interpreta- 
tion of the ceaseless activity of the child's body. The 

1 Several paragraphs of Chapter XXVI., are quoted from a paper by the 
writer, "The Religious Consciousness of Children," in the New World, Dec. 


Child-study 383 

commonly effective motive in child-study is thus the per- 
sonal, the ethical, or the pedagogical, not the scientific; 
and the psychic life of the child is usually observed in the 
belief that " the greatest value of this work is " in drawing 
one "toward the highest object of human affection, the 
object most worthy of reverence, love and sacrifice, the 
growing child." : 

This claim, it is true, does not go unchallenged. Child- 
study, it has been objected, tends to foster an unhealthy 
self-consciousness in the child ; it also changes the teacher 
from the friend, with wise and sympathetic interest, to the 
critical and dispassionate observer, actually crippled in his 
power to enter into personal relations with the child. " My 
children," says Professor Miinsterberg, who strongly cham- 
pions this view, " are for me not phenomena, not objects of 
perception, . . . but objects of my will, my love, my duty. 
. . . You may artificially train yourself," he adds, "to 
fluctuate between these two attitudes, to observe in one 
moment what you loved in the moment before, but the one 
will always interfere with the other." 2 At precisely this 
point, however, Dr. Miinsterberg's assertions may be ques- 
tioned. The attitude of the scientific observer does indeed 
differ from that of the devoted friend or teacher, but the 
results of previous study may quicken insight, enlarge wis- 
dom, and add comprehension to love. A statistical or 
experimental study of childhood may certainly be as dis- 
passionate and as unemotional as the study of a fossil or of 
an Aryan root ; but the results of such a study may also 
minister to the needs of the personal life. 

The account, which follows, of the child-consciousness is 
based on the records of two forms of child-study : first, 
upon close observations of one child in its development 
from birth onward, and second, upon topical studies of a 
given psychic phenomenon, say of anger or of imagination, 
as manifested in a group of children of the same age and 

1 Sara E. Wiltse, Pedagogical Seminary, Vol. III., p. 212. 
"* Journal of Education, May, 1895. 

384 The Consciousness of the Baby 

environment. These latter studies have been mainly con- 
cerned with children of school-age. 


The study of the baby-consciousness, like that of the 
animal-consciousness, is through inference, first, from the 
stage of development of end-organs and cerebral centres, 
second, and most important, from the baby's bodily atti- 
tudes and movements. In the study of older children, 
the observation of their actions is interpreted by the 
observer's memory of his own childhood, and supple- 
mented by the child's account of his own experience. 

The normal baby has sensations of all sorts within the 
first few weeks after birth. This is inferred both from the 
condition, at birth, of the sense-organs, and from the early 
movements of the child. The structure of the organs in 
the skin, and of the taste bulbs, is complete before birth, and 
it is therefore entirely possible that the child has pre-natal 
sensations of pressure, pain, warmth, cold and taste. The 
mechanism of the eye, also, is fully developed in the embryo, 
but light-stimulation is, of course, possible only after birth. 
Smell-stimulation requires air in the nasal cavities, so that 
there cannot be pre-natal smell sensations, and the ear is not 
cleared of the viscous matter which fills the drum cavity, 
nor is it reached by the air for some time after birth. 

Corresponding with these facts, are the phenomena of a 
child's early movements. Reactions to contact with the 
tongue, lips and palms of new-born children have been 
repeatedly observed. Stimulation, with quinine and sugar 
solutions, of the tongues of babies, in their first minutes and 
hours, have been 'followed by distinct and characteristic 
facial expressions. Experiments with strong odors, such 
as asafoetida, on babies (most of them less than a day, and 
some of them less than an hour, old) have occasioned un- 
easy movements of body and of facial muscles. Sensibility 
to light is shown, by turning toward it in the first few min- 

Sensational Elements 385 

utes of life ; but coordination of the movements of the two 
eyes, the fixation of objects and the trick of following a 
moving object, with the eyes, are the results of experience, 
often extending over several months. To sound-stimuli, 
however, newly born children certainly do not at once react. 
Setting aside cases in which the whole body is jarred by 
the vibrations caused by a loud noise, we find that the 
" period of beginning to hear varies with individual chil- 
dren from the sixth hour to the third week." 1 

Very early, therefore, in his life, the child is provided 
with sense material of every type. His experience, how- 
ever, in this very primitive stage is doubtless utterly cha- 
otic and undifferentiated. As James says, 2 " the body, 
assailed by eyes, ears, nose, skin and entrails at once, feels 
it all as one great, blooming, buzzing confusion." The 
adult approximates to this experience, in the moments of 
recovery from a fainting fit or of gradual awakening from 
a deep sleep. His consciousness, in such moments, is an 
undistinguished conglomerate, say of colors, sounds, press- 
ures and discomforts, a very turbulent solution, as it were, 
which only gradually precipitates the consciousness of 
distinct things and of selves. Almost everybody knows 
what it is, to have this confusion of undiscriminated ele- 
ments give place to a consciousness of familiar objects and 
of well-known selves. Such a confusion of thronging feel- 
ings is somewhat like the earliest stage of the conscious 
life. Almost from the very first, however, some parts 
of this chaotic experience are emphasized at the expense 
of others. Certain instinctive interests soon assert them- 
selves, the attention to intense sensations is very early 
developed, and any element of consciousness, repeatedly 
experienced in different combinations, is discriminated and 
attended to. Thus, the child soon gains an especial inter- 

1 F. Tracy, "The Psychology of Childhood," 2d ed., p. 21. Tracy presents 
an excellent summary of results, up to 1891, of the study of the baby's expe- 
rience. See, also, Tracy's Bibliography. 

2 Op. cit., Vol. I., Chapter XIII., p/ 4 88. 


386 The Consciousness of the Baby 

est in certain parts of his environment, and learns to dis- 
criminate one color from another, colors from forms, 
pitch from loudness and pressure from warmth. 

It is probable that the careful study of most children 
would confirm the important conclusion of a close and 
accurate observer, that the so-called higher sensations, 
visual and auditory, are earlier discriminated than the sen- 
sations of pressure, smell and taste, which are more im- 
mediately connected with bodily welfare. " Contrary to 
accepted opinion and to my own expectation," Miss Shinn 
writes, 1 " so far from finding an early dominance of taste 
and smell, displaced later, ... I found a lively attention 
to sight impressions very early, slowly overtaken by atten- 
tion to other sensations." 

Most studies of a child's sense-discrimination are studies, 
also, of his affective consciousness, his preference for cer- 
tain colors or sounds or tastes. So far as one may judge 
from attitude and expression, and from movements of 
approach and of retreat, there is no reason to doubt that 
a child very early experiences pleasure and dissatisfaction. 
Sweet tastes, rhythmic movements, soft sounds, light and 
warmth almost always seem to be pleasant. Bitter tastes, 
jolting movements, loud sounds, darkness and cold, on the 
other hand, are apparently unpleasant. And in spite of 
the absence of conclusive experiments, it is fair to say that 
observation tends to suggest a common preference for the 
warmer colors. It is usually assumed, also, not only that a 
child discriminates colors far better than forms, but that he 
prefers the colors. Miss Shinn's observations, have, how- 
ever, shown definitely that this is not a universal relation. 
From the eleventh month, when Miss Shinn's niece began 
to recognize uncolored pictures, there was never an indi- 
cation of preference for colored pictures, and the inde- 
pendent interest in. the outlines of letters, figures, trees 

1 "Notes on the Development of a Child," Pt. II., p. 177. 

Affections and Emotions 387 

and flowers was very noticeable. This conclusion has 
since been supplemented and confirmed by the results of a 
test, with colored and uncolored pictures, on school chil- 
dren of various ages. 1 Interest and apparent pleasure, in 
rhythmic motions and sounds and in melody, is relatively 
early, and has been noticed in the fourth month. 2 It is indi- 
cated, at first, by a movement of the head toward the sound, 
and a little later, by imitative movements and sounds. 

Darwin classes the evident pleasure in music as ' first of 
the aesthetic sentiments,' 3 and this generalization suggests 
to us the important subject of children's emotions. The 
confusion of bodily movement with conscious experience 
is as easy here as in the parallel study of animal-con- 
sciousness. The shrinking of a few-weeks-old baby at a 
sudden sound is often described as fear; the 'frowning 
and wrinkling of the skin around the eyes before crying ' 
is interpreted by Darwin 4 as his baby's sign of anger. 
Darwin adds, to be sure, "this may have been pain, not 
anger," but he has no doubt that anger occurs in the 
fourth month. The truth, however, as we have seen be- 
fore, is that these bodily attitudes and movements, the 
shrinking of so-called fear, for example, may be uncon- 
scious reflex movements. Even if they are conscious, 
they may accompany experiences which do not resemble 
what we know as emotions. For fear and anger and the 
rest involve a relatively developed self-consciousness ; and 
the baby's earliest experience must therefore be unemo- 
tional. Indeed, if we recall the abject terrors of our own 
childhood, such as corridors which w,e feared to enter for 
dread of lurking bears or robbers, or the big policeman 
whom we avoided for fear of a mysterious fate named 
1 prison,' we shall realize that these fears were all ac- 
quired, the evident work of nursemaids or playmates or 
of story-books. The results, though numerically few, of 

1 " Wellesley College Psychological Studies," Psychological Review, Vol. 
VII., 1900, p. 580. 2 Cf. Tracy, op. cit., 1st ed., p. 33. 

* " Mind," O. S., Vol. II., p. 289. * Ibid., p. 287. 

388 The Consciousness of the Baby 

a study of children's fears, confirms this opinion of all 
thoughtful observers of children. Miss Fackenthal found l 
that nine, out of twenty-three children under three years, 
were reported by their parents to be without fear; that 
only six, of fifty-two children between three and six years 
old, were entirely fearless ; and finally that all, save one, 
of one hundred and twenty-seven school children about 
twelve years old, had fears of one sort or of another, most 
often the purely imaginary fear of wild animals. 

It is not so easy to identify relational elements in the 
consciousness of the child who does not yet speak. It is 
clear that a child early has images, cerebrally excited, of 
absent objects, as well as percepts of things about him. 
Perez relates, for example, that a child of three months, 
on hearing the word co-co, turned about and looked for 
the bird-cage, and that a child of six months shrank back 
from a hot dish which a few days before had burned him. 2 
But the occurrence of memory-images does not, as we 
have seen, of necessity imply recognition, the conscious- 
ness of familiarity. Nevertheless, though it is impossible 
to assure oneself that the baby actually recognizes people 
or things, certain bodily movements, his outstretched hands 
and his smile, at first hesitating then eager, are most 
readily interpreted as recognition. There is no experi- 
mental evidence, to show that any type of experience is 
better remembered than another, but an interesting obser- 
vation of Baldwin suggests that a complex experience is 
more readily recognized than a simple one. Baldwin's 
child of six months, and a half failed to recognize either 
the figure or the voice of a nurse, who had been three 
weeks away, but joyfully recognized the nurse when she 
entered the room singing. The summation of sense-stim- 
uli seemed to facilitate recognition. 3 

1 " Wellesley College Psychological Studies," Pedagogical Seminary, Vol. 
III., p. 319. 

2 Cf. Tracy, op. cit., ist ed., p. 142, for account of both cases. 
8 Ibid., p. 40, referring to Science, May, 1890. 

Self-consciousness 389 

There is little doubt that the baby, long before he can 
speak, is conscious of similarities. It is incorrect, to be 
sure, to assume that identical reactions are a certain indi- 
cation of this feeling of likeness. When, for instance, the 
baby holds out his arms to every man whom he sees, this 
action may simply show a failure to discriminate other 
men from his father; but the child who was taught the 
letter o in her twelfth month, and who " a little later found 
a large q on a letter card and held it out with a question- 
ing sound," 1 was evidently conscious of a resemblance; 
and the child of fourteen months who was observed " to 
feel his own ears and then his mother's, one day when 
looking at pictures of rabbits," must have been impelled to 
this action by a consciousness of likeness and of difference. 

From the pedagogical or personal standpoint, the most 
absorbing topic of child-psychology is the nature and 
growth of the child's self-consciousness. According to 
the theory set forth in this book, all consciousness is, it is 
true, in a certain sense self-consciousness, but the undis- 
criminated, conglomerate consciousness of one's own body, 
resembling, as we have seen, the sleepy adult conscious- 
ness, is only in a very vague and inarticulate way a self- 
consciousness, and can only faintly resemble what we 
know as the consciousness of ourselves. It is, strictly 
speaking, impossible for us to assign a period at which a 
child becomes definitely conscious of himself, as related 
to other selves, and as contrasted with things, for no actions 
of his can be unequivocally interpreted as requiring dis- 
tinct self-consciousness. We may, however, describe with 
a high degree of probability, certain accompaniments of 
the growing self-consciousness of a child. 

The growth of interest in human bodies is, in the first 
place, evident. From the very first, the satisfaction of the 
baby's hunger, his escape from pain and, in truth, all his 

1 " Notes on the Development of a Child," Vol. I., p. 58. 

39 The Consciousness of the Baby 

pleasures, are connected with those facts of his experience 
which are later known as people. Human bodies, also, 
present certain permanent features, of voice and of appear- 
ance, against a background of varying dress and position, 
and for this reason they are earlier discriminated. They 
are, furthermore, primitively interesting because of their 
great mobility. Everybody knows that moving objects 
are more readily noticed than quiet ones ; a signal, unob- 
served on a quiet day/ is seen at once when it floats in 
the breeze, and a crab, which has lain for hours undis- 
tinguished from sea-anemones and waving seaweed, is 
immediately recognized as it scuttles across the surface 
of the rock. A baby early learns to follow moving objects 
with his eyes, and is naturally interested in the human 
bodies which surround him, since they are by all odds the 
most restless part of his environment, constantly rising 
and sitting down and walking about and changing their 
position. Baldwin suggests still another reason for a 
baby's interest in people. At a very early stage, as he 
points out, the child recognizes vaguely the uncertainty 
of the experiences associated with people. " This grow- 
ing sense," he observes, 1 " is very clear to one who watches 
an infant in his second half-year. Sometimes its mother 
gives a biscuit, and sometimes she does not. Sometimes 
the father smiles and tosses the child ; sometimes he does 
not. And the child looks for signs of these varying 
moods and methods of treatment. Its action in the pres- 
ence of the persons of the household becomes hesitating 
and watchful. Especially does it watch the face for any 
expressive indications of what treatment may be expected." 
Along with this growing interest in people's bodies and 
the developing recognition and discrimination of them, 
it is highly likely that there goes the widening and differ- 
entiation of the child's self-consciousness. The develop- 
ment of his imitative activities is doubtless a second potent 

l "Mental Development in Child and Race," p. 123. 

Self-consciousness 39 1 

factor in this experience. Originally, the baby must re- 
flect on these imitations, for example, the rhythmic move- 
ments of his head and hands, and must compare them 
with their models ; and because his imitative movements 
include motor as well as visual sensations, they must 
therefore contribute to the baby's consciousness of his 
own body as distinct from other bodies. 1 

It is quite true that we have not succeeded in tracing 
to its source the consciousness of self, in its relation to 
other selves and to things ; and we have merely suggested 
certain possible factors in the development. Yet hypotheti- 
cal as all this is, one negative conclusion may be empha- 
sized. We may confidently reject the popular theory that 
the child first becomes conscious of himself and his body, 
and that later, observing the resemblance of other bodies to 
his own, he ' ejects ' his consciousness into them, that is, 
infers that these bodies, so like his own, must be connected 
with consciousness like his own. The unlikelihood of this 
explanation is evident. For it is certain if any inference 
may be drawn from a baby's movements to his conscious- 
ness that he is earlier conscious of other people's bodies 
than of his own. Many months pass before a baby gains 
a knowledge of his own body, through explorations of one 
leg by another, and through slow discoveries of the con- 
nection between head and arms and body. Long before 
this result is reached, the baby has been following other 
people's movements with his eyes, and has shown, by other 
motions of his own, that he is conscious of them. Even 
his first imitative movements are performed with apparent 
unconsciousness of them, but with fixed attention to the 
movements which he is imitating. 

We have the right to conclude that the baby's conscious- 
ness of other selves is not an inference from the observed 
likeness of their bodies to his own. But we are not free 
to conclude that the relation is precisely reversed, and 

1 Cf. Royce, Philosophical Review, Vol. III., September, 1894. 

39 2 The Consciousness of Little Children 

that a baby is first conscious of other selves, and thus led 
to a consciousness of himself. For the truth, as we have 
already so often realized, is that one is never conscious of 
others except as related to oneself, and seldom if ever con- 
scious of oneself except as connected with other selves. So, 
whatever the date of the emergence of a definite self-con- 
sciousness, there can be no distinction of time between the 
consciousness of oneself and that of other selves. Many 
observers believe that they can trace this experience back 
into the later months of the first year of life, and no one, 
however far-reaching his memory, has any knowledge of 
a time when he was not distinctly conscious of himself, in 
his relations to other selves. 


An exhaustive study of the consciousness of children, 
beyond the age of babyhood, is plainly impossible within 
the limits of such a chapter as this. Indeed, the materials, 
adequate to such a study, do not exist, for investigations 
of the child-consciousness have been either observations, 
often fragmentary, of a few individuals, or else they have 
been incomplete statistical investigations, considering only 
limited questions and involving particular ages and sur- 
roundings. A few generalizations may, none the less, be 
ventured upon. They have the unquestionable advantage 
of challenging our own introspection, that is, our memory 
of our childhood experiences. Untrustworthy as these 
memories are, from the length of time which has passed, 
they form our best standard, for the interpretation of 
children's words and actions. 

The most significant truth about the childhood con- 
sciousness is this, that no hard-and-fast lines can be drawn 
between adult and childhood experience. The greatest 
error, in our ordinary estimate of the mind of a little child, 
is exactly opposed to the mistake which we commonly make 
about the baby's consciousness. We are apt to conclude, 

Emotion and Thought 393 

from a baby's quick movements, that he knows and feels 
more than he does. On the other hand, we virtually imply, 
by our treatment of little children, that they have one sort 
of consciousness and that grown people have quite another 
sort. Such a theory runs counter to the results of our 
study of even the baby-mind, for we have found strong 
proof that, within the first years, the child possesses all the 
elements of his lifetime's experience. And no one can 
intimately know children or vividly remember his own 
childhood, without the conviction that a child is equal to 
abstract thought and to intricate reasoning, as well as to 
accurate memorizing ; that his heart may be not only open 
to the gentle emotions of love and pity, but a prey to the 
devastating passions of jealousy and envy ; and that he 
is capable of great loyalties, of high determinations and of 
tremendous conflicts of will. 

There are in truth wide differences between the child- 
hood and the adult experience. They consist, however, 
not in the child's lack of fundamental forms of conscious- 
ness, but in his lack of certain specific experiences, and in 
his greater interest in other experiences. This is clearly 
shown by any sympathetic observation of the emotional 
life of children. We may consider, first, the delights of 
life which we grown people do not share with them for 
example, the little child's ecstatic joy in mere running and 
jumping and shouting, without apparent end or purpose. 
Evidently, this is a result of that perfect exuberance of 
vigor which few adults experience, but as enjoyment, it 
certainly does not differ from the satisfaction which a 
grown person gains from a swinging walk or from a brisk 
dumb-bell exercise. A child's pleasure in his collections 
is another instance of the same sort. He eagerly amasses 
objects far removed from a grown person's interest, old 
bottles, garish advertisements or common buttons, but 
his delight in these possessions is the very same sort of 
feeling as his mother's enjoyment of her collection of rare 
laces or his father's eagerness to secure first editions. 

394 The Consciousness of Little Children 

The griefs and fears of the child are, in the same way, 
conditioned by his ignorance. It is usually held that a 
child is incapable of deep emotion, because he is unmoved 
by desolating bereavements and separations. The truth is, 
rather, that the child does not sorrow, because he does not 
know or understand. Mrs. Burnett has made this very 
clear, in her charming story of "The One I knew the Best 
of All." " Papa in her mind was represented by a gentle- 
man who had curling brown hair, and who laughed and 
said affectionately funny things," but "she did not feel 
very familiar with him and did not see him very often " ; 
and " when some one carried her into a bedroom and . . . 
held her that she might look down at papa lying quite still 
upon the pillow . . . she was not frightened, and looked 
down with quiet interest and respect." But this same 
little girl, incapable both of sorrow for the father whom 
she did not really know and of frightened awe in the face 
of the mystery which she did not realize as mystery, used 
to wake with terror at night, and tremble through the day, 
at the joking threat of a big policeman. She was not, 
then, incapable of emotion, but she could feel emotion 
only when she stood in a close personal relation ; and she 
was too ignorant either to look forward to the conse- 
quences of her father's death or to estimate, at its proper 
value, the big policeman's threat. 

The poverty of the child's experience, coupled with the 
vividness of his imagination, is responsible for his most 
abandoned delight and for his most palpitating fears. 
Pegasus, the Chimaera and the Golden Fleece are as real 
to him as the butcher's horse and the house-cat and the 
tiger-skin rug in the drawing-room ; and he simply doesn't 
know enough of the ways of this world to realize that 
winged horses and fire-breathing dragons belong to a 
story-world only. So he dreads the dark, which prevents 
his seeing and guarding himself against the lurking mon- 
ster, and he pleases himself with enchanting dreams of 
winged horses and of treasures rivalling the Golden Fleece. 

Emotion and Thought 395 

An adult would be incapable of these special fears and 
pleasures ; but as fears and pleasures, irrespective of their 
objects, the child's experiences do not differ from the adult 
emotions. Moreover, far more often than we realize, chil- 
dren share in emotions commonly supposed to be exclusive 
possessions of the adult. ^Esthetic joy is probably one of 
these. One can hardly read Pierre Loti's accounts of his 
childhood delight in the sunsets seen from the high win- 
dows of * Grandetante Berthe,' in the forests of Limoise, in 
the blue dome of the sky, as it arched over the chateau of 
Castelnan without the conviction that children may early 
experience that which we know as aesthetic feeling. 

Quite as common as the conviction that little children 
are careless and rather heartless little animals, with an 
emotional life entirely their own, is the theory that they 
do not think or reason, that their vivid imaginations and 
their relatively ready memories really take the place of the 
later developed capacity to reason. Now it is highly prob- 
able, as we know, that the sensational and affective con- 
sciousness precedes the relational, in the conscious life of 
the baby ; but there is every likelihood that the child of two 
years compares and recognizes ; and the statements of little 
children, together with grown people's memories of their 
earliest years, tend strongly to confirm the belief that even 
little children reflect and reason. We are apt to deny that 
they reason because their actions seem to us so absurd. 
We forget that the premises, on which their reflection is 
based, are conditioned by that same poverty of experience 
which so affects the objects of their emotion. 

These conclusions have a very practical bearing, and 
though, as psychologists, we have no real right to moralize, 
we shall nevertheless indulge ourselves in a pedagogical 
observation. The perverse and persistent confusion of chil- 
dren's undoubted ignorance of the world's ways, with their 
alleged incapacity for thought and for serious feeling, is 
responsible for most of the mistakes we make in our 
dealings with them. The common misfortune of a child's 

396 The Consciousness of Little Children 

experience is its isolation. He early learns that he is 
considered a being apart. He may be royally cared for 
and devotedly loved, but he is not understood, and he is 
accounted incapable of understanding much which goes 
on about him. Under these circumstances, he lives his 
life alone. He does not recount his pleasures, because he 
knows that no one will enjoy them with him; he silently 
endures his fears, because he cannot bear to have them 
laughed at; he does not confide his perplexities, for he 
knows that nobody suspects him of thinking about the 
disquieting subjects. So his whole childhood may be dark- 
ened, by tormenting fears of evil spirits, who will pounce 
upon him if he inadvertently treads on the seam of a car- 
pet, or by disturbing religious doubts, quite unsuspected by 
the parents who might readily set them at rest. The truth 
is, that the natural and happy development of a child is 
conditioned on a relation of entire confidence in older 
friends, who can control his emotional and reflective life 
by enlarging his knowledge and by correcting his igno- 
rance. But such a relation of confidence is impossible 
until grown people learn to treat seriously the questions 
and the hesitating confidences of children, and to respect 
the sincerity of their thoughts and their emotional life. 
At the best, grave dangers of misinterpretation beset us. 
We have only the obscure media of children's confused 
words, and of our often unsympathetic hearing, through 
which to read their thoughts. To meet the child's bewil- 
dered expressions with indifference, with ridicule, or with 
reproof is to drive him back into the isolation of his own 




ABNORMAL Psychology, in the widest sense of the term, 
includes the study of the varying forms of insanity, as 
well as the discussion of abnormal phases of the normal 
consciousness. We restrict ourselves to the latter subject, 
considering in most detail the phenomena of dreaming, of 
visions and of hypnotism. 


(a) Dreams 

There is an obvious advantage in beginning here, for one 
may directly consider one's own dreams, instead of making 
inferences from the words and actions of other people. 
But though the student of the dream-consciousness has 
the advantage of studying his own experience, his knowl- 
edge of his dreams is much impaired by the difficulty and 
uncertainty of remembering them. The dreams of the early 
night are usually forgotten, and those which we recall in 
the morning are a small proportion of all which we have 
dreamed. A curious experience of the writer illustrates 
this danger. For some months she kept a careful record 
of all dreams, writing them down from memory as soon as 
she awoke. In this way, she accustomed herself to write 


Nature of Dreaming 

legibly even in the dark. One night, a long dream was 
recorded with a pencil so blunted that it made mere 
scratches on the paper, and in the morning the disheart- 
ening discovery was made, that the dream had been com- 
pletely forgotten, in spite of the fact that the dreamer had 
waked enough to write it down. A second danger is the 
likelihood of supplementing our fragmentary dream-memo- 
ries, by images which did not actually occur in the dreams, 
but which we unwittingly supply to fill the gaps. The 
main requirements of dream investigation are, therefore : 
first, completeness in the record of them, so that one's 
study may be based, not on a very few striking dreams, but 
on a larger number of representative dreams ; and second, 
the habit of recording dreams as soon as possible after 
their occurrence. Dreams, recorded immediately on wak- 
ing from them, are obviously the most trustworthy materials 
of study. The statements which follow are based upon 
the writer's records, during seven successive weeks, of her 
own remembered dreams, and on several other records of 
the same type. 

The dream is most simply described as consciousness 
during sleep. Its essential features are the sleeper's uncon- 
sciousness of his bodily state, and his fallacious conscious- 
ness of the perceptual reality of dream-objects. When, for 
example, I dreamed last night of floating about in a gondola, 
I was obviously unconscious of my body, which lay rela- 
tively motionless, under an eider-down quilt, in a room of 
forty degrees Fahrenheit ; and I mistook my own memory, 
of a summer day on the Grand Canal, for an experience 
actually shared with other people. This characteristic 
dream illusion is very readily explained. The conditions 
of sleep make it impossible to compare our images with 
other people's experience, and even with our own percepts. 
But in the waking consciousness our images are felt to be 
unreal, precisely because we do compare them with the 
more stable, and often more vivid, objects of perception; 
and because we realize, originally by communication, that 

Stages of the Dream Illusion 399 

other people do not share the image experience. Without 
these standards of comparison, the vivid images of our 
hours of revery would certainly seem as real as our dream 
experiences. I imagine, for example, the ride from St. 
Malo to Dinan, in the little steamboat on the river 
Ranee. I picture vividly the serpentine windings of the 
river, the ruined chateaus and moss-grown towers of the 
banks, the coiffed peasant women, three abreast, harnessed 
to a boat which they drag along and, finally, the winding 
streets and ruined walls of Dinan itself, built high upon its 
hill. But I realize, throughout, the privacy of my imagina- 
tion, because it so sharply contradicts my prosaic outlook 
on American city streets, electric cars and ten-storied 
buildings. If, however, I were dreaming of Dinan, my 
eyes would be closed to my surroundings, and there would 
be no perceived reality opposing my dream visions ; the 
dream experience, accordingly, would be undistinguished 
from the common world of perception. 

There are at least three stages in the dream illusion. 
The first has been already described, as the mere absence 
of any feeling of the privacy or unreality of the dream ex- 
perience. In the next stage, one attributes one's own 
thoughts and feelings to other individuals ; for example, 
one dreams of forgetting a date and of hearing some one 
else give it correctly. Here, there is a failure of definite 
recollection. A vivid speech image is followed by an 
equally vivid consciousness of some person, and the two 
are then closely associated. The dream illusion, finally, 
may reach the level of what is called changed or doubled 
personality : this phenomenon we shall later discuss in 
some detail. 

The contrasts between dream and waking are ordinarily 
so strongly emphasized, that it is even more important 
to consider their essential likenesses. Just as we have 
found that the child has the same sorts of consciousness 
as the adult, so also we discover, within our dreams, every 

400 Sensational Elements in Dreams 

type of conscious material, sensational, attributive and 

In the experience, so far as it is known, of most 
dreamers, visual elements predominate : that is to say, 
most people dream of how things look, and some, indeed, 
describe their dreams as purely visual shifting panto- 
mimes, as it were, of colored figures and objects. Many 
of us, however, dream also of sounds and of dermal sensa- 
tions ; and conversation, which involves both auditory and 
tactile elements, plays an important part in the dreams 
of many persons. People dream far less frequently of 
tastes and of odors, so that dreams of banquets break off 
just before one actually begins to eat ; and we often 
decide that what we at first remembered as a dream of 
tasting or of smelling was merely a dream of the * look ' 
of objects which, in waking life, would also have been 
tasted and smelt. In spite of their rarity, however, there 
is no reason to doubt that, as there may be taste and smell 
images, so there may be taste and smell dreams. The most 
accurate dream records confirm this view. 1 

The relative frequency of the different sorts of sense 
imagery, in the dreams of four observers, is shown by the 
following table, in which each per cent shows the pro- 
portion of dreams in which one class of sense-images 
occurred. 2 



S. (133 dreams) 85.0% 57.1% 5.3% .0% 1.5% 

C. (165 " ) 77-0 49.1 8.5 .0 1.2 

W. (141 " ) 100. o 90.0 13.5 12.0 15.0 

H. (150 " ) 72.7 54.6 6.0 2.7 2.7 

Total^ 83.2% 62.1% 8.3% 3.6% 4.9% 

1 Cf. E. B. Titchener, American Journal of Psychology, Vol. VI., p. 507 ; 
G. A. Andrews, ibid.. Vol. XI.; and see next note. 

2 M. W. Calkins, American Journal of Psychology, Vol. V., p. 321; 
S. Weed and F. Hallam, ibid., Vol. VII., p. 407. 

Unsensational Elements in Dreams 401 

Though there are dreams which, so far as remembered, 
are quite unemotional, affective elements are, nevertheless, 
very prominent in many dreams. There is, perhaps, no 
point in which the individuality of the dreamer is more 
manifest. To one person, dreams, though seldom vividly 
disagreeable, are 'apt to be pervaded by a generally un- 
pleasant feeling,' : but another dreamer says, " I look for- 
ward with delight to my hours of sleep." 2 Fear, shame 
and perplexity are frequent forms of unpleasant dream 
emotion ; experiences of pleasure are harder to classify, 
yet even aesthetic pleasure occurs in one's dreams, though 
it is rare. It is clearly suggested in the record which 
follows : 3 " I went into the garden and there were all the 
roses beginning to open. A little bluebell rang out, and 
the roses began slowly to unfold. The garden was a per- 
fect bower of beauty ; every rose on every bush was opened, 
the bluebells were all ringing, the other flowers all opened, 
the birds began to sing." 

Relational experiences are no less prominent in our 
dreams. To begin with, every constant dreamer admits 
the occurrence of recognition in his dreams. Sometimes 
he correctly recognizes events which have really happened 
in the waking life, but, quite as often, the feeling of famili- 
arity attaches to imaged events which have never actually 
occurred. Explicit thinking and reasoning are so often 
reported by accurate observers, in the records of their 
dreams, that we may deny, quite dogmatically, the frequent 
assertion that dreams are characterized by entire absence 
of thought. Dream reasoning, though sometimes accu- 
rate, is often incorrect, and it often is based on very absurd 
premises. Dr. Sanford, for example, after dexterously fit- 
ting a dream-baby with a new skull, 4 discovers that the 
baby can talk. Dr. Sanford, in his dream, ingeniously 
reasons that " by getting an older skull [the baby] came 

1 M. W. Calkins, op. '/., American Journal of Psychology, Vol. V., p. 327. 

2 Ibid., Vol. VII., p. 408. * Ibid., Vol. VII., p. 325, note. 
Ibid., Vol. VII., p. 409. 


4O2 Will and Moral Consciousness in Dreams 

into . . . the size and attainments of the previous owner 
of the skull. This," he observes, "puts the active and 
organizing principle the soul in the skull instead of 
the brain." 

Will and moral consciousness, also, in spite of assertions 
to the contrary, certainly occur occasionally in dreams. 
Both are found, for example, in a dream recorded by a 
college student, in which she was required to make a dis- 
section for which directions were written in Greek : " I was 
in distress because my instruments would not work, and I 
had forgotten what I knew of the Greek. I reasoned with 
myself about the honesty of having some one translate the 
directions. After much thought I decided that I would 
not have the directions translated, because the work was 
to be individual . . . and this would be deceiving." 1 

It is easy to describe in a general way the physiological 
correlates of dreaming. All dreams, in the first place, are 
conditioned by the excitation of brain-centres ; and many, 
perhaps all, dreams are conditioned also by the functioning 
of some sensational end-organ. When, for example, one 
dreams of brilliant autumn woods, and wakes to find the 
sun shining full upon one's eyelids, it is evident that the 
excitation of retina and optic nerve has preceded that of 
the visual brain-centre. Very few dreams, it is true, can 
be traced directly to the external stimulation, and it is pos- 
sible that the brain-centres may be stimulated directly 
through changes in the blood supply ; but, on the other 
hand, slight sounds, like those of a flapping window cur- 
tain, changes in the pressure of one's coverings and inter- 
nal bodily changes must occur frequently during sleep, 
and may form the starting-point of every dream. 

(b) Abnormal Experiences of the Waking Life 

I . Waking Illusions and Hallucinations. H istory is full 
of accounts of illusions and hallucinations of waking 

1 S. Weed and F. Hallam, op. at., Vol. VII., p. 408. 

Illusions and Hallucinations 403 

people. The daimon of Sokrates, the blazing sword of 
Savonarola, the devil who used to argue with Luther, and 
the Madonna who appeared to Raphael are illustrations 
which at once suggest themselves. It is not always easy 
to decide from the descriptions which we have of them, 
whether these visions are illusions, that is, conditioned in 
part by peripheral excitation, or whether they are halluci- 
nations, that is, conditioned by cerebral excitation only. 
Sometimes, however, the distinction is obvious. For 
example, the phantoms which haunted Charles IX. after 
the massacre of St. Bartholemew were hallucinations, but 
the image of Byron which appeared to Sir Walter Scott 
was a mere illusion, for the clothes of the figure consisted, 
Sir Walter discovered, of the folds of a curtain. 

Far more important as materials for study than these 
vivid, yet often confused and unverified, stories from which 
we have quoted, are the massed results of an International 
Census on Waking Hallucinations, made by the Society for 
Psychical Research. 1 The question on which this study 
is based is the following : " Have you ever, when believing 
yourself to be completely awake, had a vivid impression of 
seeing or being touched by a living being or inanimate 
object, or of hearing a voice; which impression, so far as 
you could discover, was not due to any external physical 
cause ? " To this question 27,329 answers were given, and 
of these 3271, or 11.96 per cent, were affirmative : in other 
words, one out of every twelve of the persons, reached by 
the investigation, asserted that he had experienced halluci- 
nations. This percentage, however, is, in all probability, 
too high to be representative, for the larger the number of 
answers received by any one collector of these statistics, 
the smaller was the number of affirmative replies. It fol- 
lows that if the investigation were further extended, the 
percentage would probably fall still lower. 2 Yet, with all 

1 Proceedings of the Society of Psychical Research, Vol. X., 1894. 

2 Edmund Parish, "Hallucinations and Illusions" (Scribner, 1897), 
pp. 85 seg. 

404 Crystal Vision 

allowances for overestimation, the fact remains that wak- 
ing hallucinations must be commoner than many of us 
think. Visual hallucinations far outnumber the others : 
of 2232 cases completely described, 1441 included visual 
elements, 850 were partly auditory, and only 244 were tac- 
tile. Most of these hallucinations related to people, living 
or dead, but a few represented angels or supernatural beings, 
and a slightly larger number were grotesque or horrible 
figures. About one-twentieth of them were indefinite or 
indescribable. Persons between the ages of fifteen and 
thirty reported more than one-half the number of these 
illusions and hallucinations, and men reported only two- 
thirds as many as women, 9.75 per cent as compared with 
14.56 per cent. The general conclusion of the Report is 
" that this apparent difference should, to a great extent, be 
attributed to the fact that men, among the pressing inter- 
ests and occupations of their lives, forget these experiences 
sooner." 1 

Besides the involuntary hallucinations and illusions, 
there is the whole class of illusions which are voluntarily 
induced. The commonest method of bringing about illu- 
sions is known as crystal vision : the experimenter looks 
fixedly at a glass sphere, at a mirror surface or even at a 
glass of water, until there appear pictures in its reflecting 
surface. Crystal-gazing, it may be noticed, is an ancieut 
custom. Oriental people, as well as Greeks and Romans, 
are known to have practised it with many reflecting objects, 
for example, with metal mirrors, beryl stones, wells, and 
liquids held in the palm of the hand. Crystal vision has 
even been observed among the uncivilized races of the 
South Sea Islands. In the sixteenth and seventeenth 
century it flourished in the English court and on the 
continent. 2 The images which appear within these differ- 
ent crystals are usually reproductions of former experiences, 
and often of long-forgotten objects or scenes. One sees, 

1 Cf. Parish, op. /., p. 84. a Cf. Parish, op. cit., pp. 63-66. 

Automatic Writing 405 

for instance, a forgotten date, or a garden familiar in early 
childhood. The images, on the other hand, may be purely 
imaginary, as when Mrs. Verral sees in her crystal l colors 
so vivid that they leave an after-image in complementary 
colors. The images seen in crystals may be, finally, veridi- 
cal images of actual scenes beyond the range of the normal 
vision of the crystal seer. Images of this sort we shall 
later discuss, in considering the general subject of veridical 
phenomena in the abnormal consciousness. 

It would be possible to include, in this account of abnor- 
mal experiences of the waking life, a description of the 
chief phenomena of synaesthesia, including so-called colored 
hearing and mental forms. Most of these experiences are, 
however, mere instances of ordinary imagination, and they 
are not therefore considered in this chapter. 2 

2. Automatic Writing. One abnormal motor experi- 
ence, relatively common in the waking life, must be very 
briefly described. It is known as automatic writing, and 
is of the following nature: 3 the subject, provided with a 
pencil and so placed that the hand which holds the pencil 
is hidden from his eyes, unconsciously responds to stimu- 
lation of the hand. If the hand be pressed three times, it 
will make three marks when these pressures are over ; if 
the hand is guided and made to draw a single letter, it 
may go on to complete a word. Normal persons possess 
the rudiments of automatic writing, passively repeating 
uniform movements when the experimenter has initiated 
them, following the rhythm of a metronome or even out- 
lining figures, or writing names, of which they themselves 
are thinking. The emphasized feature of this experience 
is the subject's entire unconsciousness of the movements 
of his own hands. In hysteria and in hypnosis the phe- 
nomena of automatic writing are very marked. 

1 Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. VIII., pp. 473 siq 

2 Cf. Bibliography. 

* Cf. A. Binet, " Double Consciousness," pp. 80 stq. 

406 Abnormal Psychology 

(c) Hypnosis 

Hypnosis differs in two general ways from the forms of 
the abnormal consciousness already discussed. In the 
first place, it is brought about by the influence of some 
other person or persons, instead of being explained solely 
by bodily or conscious changes in the life of the individual. 
The hypnotized subject, furthermore, almost always for- 
gets, in his waking state, the experience of the hypnotic 
sleep. It follows that the hypnotic condition, unlike the 
dream or the vision, is studied chiefly by inference from 
the words and acts of hypnotized subjects. Hypnosis, 
therefore, is in the main a branch of comparative psychol- 
ogy, whereas the study of dreams, and even of visions, be- 
longs to what has been named introspective psychology. 1 
Hypnosis has been denned as a state of abnormal suggesti- 
bility. It may be described, provisionally, as the relatively 
complete obedience of one individual to the suggestions of 
another. It is brought about in many ways ; but all meth- 
ods unite in compelling the absorbed attention of the 
subject, or person to be hypnotized, and conversely in 
drawing his attention from every other feature of his sur- 
roundings. Often, this result is gained by requiring the 
subject to look fixedly into the eyes of the hypnotizer; 
at other times, the subject is asked to regard a brilliant 
object which the hypnotizer holds ; again, the attention is 
gained by certain rhythmic movements of the hypnotizer ; 
sometimes, finally, there is need of nothing except his 
spoken exhortation. In all these cases the aim is, as 
has been said, to direct the full attention of the subject 
upon the hypnotizer, and to divert him from every other 

The hypnotic subject, so far as his general surroundings 
are concerned, is, therefore, like a sleeping person. He 
is relatively deaf and blind to what goes on about him, 

1 Cf. P . 352. 

Hypnosis 407 

and, indeed, in most stages of hypnotism he is outwardly 
like a sleeper, for his eyes are closed and his limbs are re- 
laxed. In relation to the hypnotizer, on the contrary, the 
subject is intensely awake, and alive to every direction 
or suggestion. An illustration, suggested by one of the 
writers on hypnotism, may make this clearer. He com- 
pares the sleeping state to a chandelier with several 
burners dimly lighted ; the waking state to a chandelier 
with all the burners turned on ; and the hypnotic state 
to a chandelier with the gas turned off from all the 
burners save one, but issuing at full pressure from that 

For an adequate discussion of the nature and conditions 
of hypnosis, the student must at once be referred to the 
books which treat the topic in detail. 1 This chapter will 
attempt an outline, only, of its most significant phenomena. 
It is important to notice that there are many degrees of 
hypnosis, in other words, that the subject follows the sug- 
gestions of the hypnotizer, to greatly varying extents. In 
very light hypnosis, for example, the hypnotist may be 
able only to prevent certain simple movements; in com- 
plete hypnosis, as we shall see, the hypnotist may influ- 
ence the secretions of the body or induce complicated 
movements, and may bring about positive illusions, or 
even affect the thought and emotion of the subject. 

It is not easy to classify the stages of hypnosis, for 
these vary greatly with different subjects and with differ- 
ent methods of hypnotization. A simple and compara- 
tively satisfactory classification is suggested by Max 
Dessoir and adopted by Albert Moll. 2 It distinguishes 
two important stages of hypnosis. In the first, only the 
voluntary muscles are affected. The second stage is 
characterized both by mental disturbances, and by bodily 
changes due to contraction of involuntary as well as 
voluntary muscles. Roughly speaking, no more than a 

1 Cf. Bibliography. 2 " Hypnotism," p. 51. 

408 Bodily Movements in Hypnosis 

third of the whole number of hypnoses reach this second 

The nature of these hypnotic phenomena will now be 
described and illustrated, in more detail. The hypnotic 
influence on the voluntary muscles must, therefore, be 
first considered. These may be negatively or positively 
affected : the subject, after the hypnotic state has been 
induced, may be unable to open his eyes or to raise his 
hand, if the hypnotizer asserts that the movement is im- 
possible; or again, the subject extends his arm, holds it 
motionless and lets it drop in imitation of the hypnotist's 
movement. In deep hypnotic states, complete rigidity of 
the body may be induced so that if the subject's head 
be placed on one chair and his feet on the other, his 
body will not double up between them. Very complicated 
acts may also be performed : for instance, the subject lifts 
objects from a table or whirls several times round. 1 The 
subject may even imitate the delicate movements of the 
vocal organs. Trilby's musical achievements, for example, 
were due to Svengali's hypnotic influence ; and, years ago, 
a hypnotized girl imitated the singing of Jenny Lind. 

The deep hypnosis of what has been called the second 
stage is often characterized by involuntary muscle contrac- 
tions, and thus by disturbances of pulse, secretion and 
bodily temperature. Such changes are readily explained 
by analogy with the normal life of emotion and atten- 
tion ; for there is no doubt, as we have found, that circu- 
latory changes accompany emotional states. Certain other 
bodily phenomena of deep hypnosis are harder to explain. 
These are the structural bodily changes. There are, for 
example, well authenticated though infrequent cases, in 
which blisters have been produced, by a hypnotizer who 
assured his subject that a burning object would be ap- 
plied to his skin. We may quote, in illustration,, from 
Kraft Ebing's account of his well-known patient, lima 

1 Cf. Moll, op. /., p. 63. 

Hypnotic Illusions 409 

S 1 : "The experimenter draws with the percussion 

hammer a cross on the skin over the biceps of the left 
arm, and suggests to the patient that on the following 
day at twelve o'clock, in the same place, a red cross shall 
appear. . . . [On the next day] at eleven o'clock . . . 
the patient wonders that she has an itching, excoriated 
spot on her right upper arm. . . . The examination shows 
that a red cross is to be seen on the right arm exactly at 
the place corresponding with that marked on the left side 
yesterday." Later a 'sharply defined scab' is formed. 

We must turn now to hypnotic disturbances of con- 
sciousness ; and, first among them, we shall consider the 
sense illusions and hallucinations, classifying them as pos- 
itive or negative. The suggestion of the hypnotizer may 
induce illusions or even actual hallucinations of every sort. 
He may point out to his subject certain black blotches on 
a white background, telling him that they are birds, and 
may thus call up to his subject's mind a vivid landscape. 
Or, the hypnotizer may hand to his subject a cup of water 
or even of ink, telling him that it is coffee. The subject 
drinks it eagerly, complains, perhaps, that it is warm, and 
shows by the expression of his face that he is quite uncon- 
scious of its real nature. Indeed, the alleged coffee may 
produce actual bodily effects, a flushed face, for example. 
For the same reason, the hypnotic subject sneezes when told 
that he has taken snuff, and trembles with cold when told 
that he is standing on ice. His eyes water as he eats an 
apple which the hypnotist has described as an onion, but 
he sniffs at ammonia with impunity if he is told that it is 
eau de cologne. These, of course, are instances of illusion, 
brought about by means of an external object. Genuine 
hallucinations can also be induced : a subject, for example, 
will hear the sounds of a piano if they are merely sug- 
gested by the hypnotist. 

1 " An Experimental Study in the Domain of Hypnotism," by R. von Krafft 
Ebing, translated by C. G. Chaddock (Putnam, 1889), pp. 57-60. Cf. pp. 
78, 96. 

410 Hypnotic Illusions 

So far, we have spoken of fallacious perceptions of a 
positive sort. The negative illusions and hallucinations of 
the hypnotized subject are far more difficult of explana- 
tion. The hypnotizer, for example, indicates some person 
who is present and says decidedly, " This man has left the 
room : he is no longer present." Forthwith, the hypno- 
tized subject utterly disregards the banished individual, 
failing to reply to his questions and even running against 
him. " Part of an object," Moll says, 1 " can be made invis- 
ible in the same way. We can cause people to appear 
headless and armless, or make them disappear altogether 
by putting on a particular hat, as in the story of the Magic 
Cap. The situation may be varied in any way we please." 
In like manner, the hypnotizer may suggest to his subject 
that he is unable to see or to hear or to feel pain. The 
pain-sensations are, however, least susceptible to sugges- 
tion, and the value of hypnotism as an anaesthetic has 
been much exaggerated. 2 

We must next consider the phenomena of the hypnotic 
memory. In the lighter hypnotic states there are no ab- 
normalities of memory, but two characteristics of the 
memory of deeper hypnosis should be emphasized. The 
hypnotized subject is able to remember both the events of 
former hypnoses and those of his normal experience ; on 
the other hand, he seldom remembers, in his normal state, 
the events of the hypnotic state. The books on hyp- 
notism are full of illustrations of all these phenomena. 
Cases are reported in which hypnotized subjects remember 
the events of hypnoses ten and thirteen years earlier, even 
when the same occurrences are utterly forgotten in the 
normal state. The intensification of memories of the 
waking life is shown by the tendency of hypnotized sub- 
jects to talk in the forgotten language of earlier years. 
A well-known illustration is the stor-y of a hypnotized 
English officer, who surprised the bystanders by speaking 

1 Op. '/., p. 97. 2 Moll, op. cit., pp. 99 and 330, 

Hypnotic Memory 411 

in a strange language. This unknown tongue proved to 
be Welsh, which the Englishman had learned, as a child, 
but had forgotten. The ability to remember, in the nor- 
mal state, events of the deeper hypnosis varies greatly in 
individuals. Efforts to recall these events to the subject's 
mind are often successful, and yet, as a general rule, such 
events of hypnosis are forgotten. 

The most puzzling of hypnotic experiences is closely 
connected with the facts of memory. It is known as post- 
hypnotic suggestion, and may be described as the tendency 
of hypnotic subjects to follow, even in their waking lives, 
the suggestions of the hypnotist. We must consider this 
tendency in more detail. The hypnotist, for example, be- 
fore waking his subject addresses him in some such fashion 
as the following : " To-morrow, at twelve o'clock, you will 
move the Lucca della Robia madonna from its present po- 
sition over the chimney-piece to the empty space between 
the two windows." At twelve o'clock on the following 
day, the subject, apparently in his normal condition, actu- 
ally makes the suggested change, without remembering 
the suggestion of the hypnotist. The readily hypnotized 
subject may, in this way, be influenced to perform simple 
and complicated acts, and also to experience sense-illusions. 

It is obvious that the main value, as well as the chief 
danger, of hypnotism lies in just this susceptibility of the 
hypnotic subject to post-hypnotic suggestion. Physicians 
who make use of hypnotism suggest to the patient that he 
is freed from disturbing symptoms, and that he will remain 
freed from them after waking. The practice is based on 
the admitted truth that "a number of diseases can be cured 
or relieved merely by making the patient believe that he 
will soon be better, and by firmly implanting this convic- 
tion in his mind." 1 To this end, post-hypnotic suggestion 
has been employed, with distinct success, for more than 
thirty years by Liebault and Bernheim at Nancy; and 

1 Moll, op. cit., p. 291. 

4 1 2 Hypnosis 

hundreds of doctors, in all parts of the world, have employed 
like methods. Indeed, the dependent attitude of patient to 
physician in itself predisposes the patient to fill the condi- 
tions of the hypnotized subject. It is not, therefore, sur- 
prising to discover that celebrated physicians of antiquity 
induced what would now be called hypnotic states, for ex- 
ample, the temple sleep which characterized both Greek 
and Egyptian cures. Not merely nervous diseases, so- 
called, but all diseases and symptoms which have no ana- 
tomical cause have been successfully treated by hypnotism, 
for example, rheumatic and neuralgic pain, loss of appe- 
tite, certain disorders of sight, stammering, chorea and 
writer's cramp (of central origin). The success of the 
treatment is dependent on the extent of the hypnosis and 
on the susceptibility of the subject. It also depends, of 
course, on the patience, skill and experience of the physi- 
cian. 1 The objections urged against the therapeutic use of 
hypnotism are, first, the fact that the patient submits him- 
self to the relatively complete control of another person ; 
and second, the fact that the patient grows in susceptibility, 
so that he is more readily hypnotized with every treat- 

In unscrupulous hands, the ability to give post-hypnotic 
suggestions may, of course, be grossly abused. There are 
reasonably well-attested instances of crimes committed and 
of large sums of money given away, in accordance with 
post-hypnotic suggestion. In such cases, the discovery 
of the guilty hypnotist is made difficult by the fact, already 
indicated, that the hypnotized subject so seldom remembers 
the events of the hypnotic state. The best authorities, how- 
ever, agree in the conclusion that only individuals predis- 
posed to criminal acts can be influenced to actual crime. 
" It is very difficult," Moll says, "to suggest anything that 
is opposed to the confirmed habits of the subject. . . . The 
more an action is repulsive to his disposition the stronger 

1 Cf. Moll, op. /., Chapter VIII. 

Likeness of Abnormal to Normal 413 

is his resistance." On the other hand, a depraved subject 
may solicit criminal suggestions. The surest means of 
avoiding the danger of crimes, hypnotically suggested, is 
the legal restriction of the use of hypnotism to competent 
physicians and scientists. Some such limitation of the 
right to hypnotize is warmly recommended by the conti- 
nental writers, Liegeois, Delacroix and others. 1 

In conclusion, we must briefly outline an entirely differ- 
ent theory of the nature of hypnosis. This is the doctrine, 
most ably championed by the French physician, Charcot, 
that hypnosis is a pathological state, in other words, a 
nerve disease. Charcot distinguishes two main forms, le 
petit and le grand hypnotisme, and claims that the latter 
has three well-marked stages, cataleptic, lethargic, and 
somnambulic, each capable of excitation through physical 
stimulation, without suggestion. The suggestibility of the 
hypnotic subject is, on his view, merely a symptom of the 
disease. It is fair to say, however, that the theory of Char- 
cot has been completely set aside by the observations of 
Liebault and Bernheim, in Nancy, and by the conclusions 
of most modern students of hypnotism. 


Though we have more than once considered the likeness 
of abnormal to normal consciousness, it is well now to sum- 
marize the resemblances and to emphasize them. It has 
been shown already that the dream-experience includes all 
the elements of the waking consciousness, and that the 
dream illusion, as a whole, closely resembles the absorbed 
revery in which we do not reflect on the privacy and unreal- 
ity of our images. These statements apply equally to wak- 
ing illusions and hallucinations. We have seen already 
that the percept is usually, though not invariably, more 

1 Cf. Moll, op. cit., Chapter VIII. 

414 Likeness of Abnormal to Normal 

intense than the image, and that the only constant distinc- 
tion is the privacy of imagination, as contrasted with the 
community of experience in perception. Illusion and hal- 
lucination are abnormally vivid sense-experiences, which 
we incorrectly suppose that we share with other people. 
From this analysis, it is clear that crystal-gazing induces 
illusions, simply because it tends to divert attention from 
one's surroundings, and to concentrate it on an object rel- 
atively empty of interest. One is thus absorbed in one's 
images, and one ceases to compare them with perceptual 
reality ; they therefore gain a fallacious air of being com- 
mon, instead of individual, experiences. The phenomena, 
finally, of somnambulism and of automatic writing seem to 
be instances of ideo-motor or of reflex action. 

The essential point of likeness, between the waking con- 
sciousness and hypnosis, is the individual's susceptibility, 
in both the normal and the abnormal state, to the influ- 
ence of another person. It is idle to deny this relation. 
The most independent of mortals shapes his actions and 
judgments, in one particular or another, in accordance with 
the ideas of somebody else. The picture in which he de- 
lighted becomes a crude daub of color, if this influential 
critic pronounces against it ; the theory which he scouted 
gains dignity and impressiveness, at a word of approval 
from his mentor. Dull tasks are undertaken, favorite pas- 
times are given over, action and theory alike are remodelled, 
at the suggestion of some one whose opinion is valued. 
Now this everyday truth that an individual does pro- 
foundly influence the life of thought and action of other 
men is the basal principle of hypnosis. 

Coordinate with this resemblance of hypnotic state to 
waking life is the likeness of hypnosis to the dream life, 
in that it excludes the percepts and images which oppose 
those of the hypnotist. This analogy of hypnosis to the 
dream is of real significance. The hypnotic illusion, 
though differently excited, is, in principle, like the dream 
illusion a vivid idea uncompared with perceptual real- 

Changes in Personality 415 

ity. The movements of the hypnotized subject, in response 
to suggestion, resemble, in like manner, the movements of 
somnambulism, which is simply the acting out of dream 


We have no right to obscure the peculiarities of these 
abnormal states, by insisting only on their likeness to the 
waking consciousness. The remainder of this chapter is 
devoted, therefore, to a brief consideration of the two par- 
ticulars, in which these forms of abnormal consciousness 
most widely diverge from the waking experience. 

(a) Changes in Personality 

Both dreams and hypnotic states may be characterized 
by what is known as a change or a doubling of personality ; 
for example, one may dream of being a little child or of 
attending one's own funeral. In the writer's own experi- 
ence, such dreams involve no loss of the consciousness of 
self, but rather a vivid imagination and a failing memory. 
The dreamer forgets the events of his past experience and 
even his own appearance, and adopts another environment 
as his own ; yet all the time he is conscious of the old self 
as the centre of these new experiences. Occasionally, 
however, a real change of personality appears to occur. 
For example, a careful observer of dreams, Miss Weed, 
recalls the following dream. 1 " I seem to be an old min- 
ister, lean, tall, with long, thin, white hair. My coat is a 
long Prince Albert, worn at the elbow ; my tie is black. I 
realize that I am soon to die. I review my whole career 
as a pastor, call to mind several people and some of the 
details of the work. I think of some of the sermons I 
have preached, and feel a strong sense of my shortcom- 

1 "A Study of the Dream Consciousness," American Journal of Psychology, 
Vol. VII., p. 411. 

416 Difference of Abnormal from Normal 

ings." The writer adds : " In this entire dream I do not 
view the personality which I have assumed as one apart, 
but as one from within. I do not see the long, gray hair and 
the black tie, but imagine them as one imagines any bodily 
characteristic or any article of dress not in direct vision." 

The hypnotic state offers many examples of changed per- 
sonality, so far at least as this can be externally observed. 
The deeply hypnotized subject, if told that he is Napoleon, 
is likely to adopt a military stride and to develop pugna- 
cious tendencies. Krafft Ebing's subject, lima S , 
when it was suggested to her that she was eight years old, 
played contentedly for hours at a time with a doll, wrote 
an unformed hand, and made childish errors in spelling 
words which she normally spelled correctly. 

Even more surprising is the discovery or the creation, 
through hypnotic methods, of regular alternations of per- 
sonality. One of the best-known of these cases is that of 
Janet's patient Leonie. We quote a translation, by James, 
of Janet's account of this subject: "This woman, whose 
life sounds more like an improbable romance than a genu- 
ine history, has had attacks of natural somnambulism since 
the age of three years. She has been hypnotized constantly 
by all sorts of persons from the age of sixteen upwards, and 
she is now forty-five. Whilst her normal life developed in 
one way in the midst of her poor country surroundings, 
her second life was passed in drawing-rooms and doctors' 
offices, and naturally took an entirely different direction. 
To-day, when in her normal state, this poor peasant woman 
is a serious and rather sad person, calm and slow, very mild 
with every one, and extremely timid : to look at her one 
would never suspect the personage which she contains. 
But hardly is she put to sleep hypnotically when a meta- 
morphosis occurs. Her face is no longer the same. She 
keeps her eyes closed, it is true, but the acuteness of her 
other senses supplies their place. She is gay, noisy, rest- 
less, sometimes insupportably so. She remains good- 
natured, but has acquired a singular tendency to irony 

Changes in Personality 417 

and sharp jesting. Nothing is more curious than to hear 
her after a sitting when she has received a visit from 
strangers who wished to see her asleep. She gives a word- 
portrait of them, apes their manners, pretends to know 
their little ridiculous aspects and passions, and for each 
invents a romance. To this character must be added the 
possession of an enormous number of recollections, whose 
existence she does not even suspect when awake, for her 
amnesia is then complete. . . . She refuses the name of 
Leonie and takes that of Leontine (Leonie 2) to which her 
first magnetizers had accustomed her. ' That good woman 
is not myself,' she says, ' she is too stupid ! ' To herself, 
Leontine or Leonie 2, she attributes all the sensations and 
all the actions, in a word all the conscious experiences 
which she has undergone in somnambulism, and knits 
them together to make the history of her already long life. 
To Leonie I [as M. Janet calls the waking woman] on the 
other hand, she exclusively ascribes the events lived through 
in waking hours. But it is the same with her second or 
deepest state of trance. When after the renewed passes, 
syncope, etc., she reaches the condition which I have 
called Leonie 3, she is another person still. Serious and 
grave, instead of being a restless child, she speaks slowly 
and moves but little. Again she separates herself from 
the waking Leonie I. 'A good but rather stupid woman,' 
she says, 'and not me.' And she also separates herself 
from Leonie 2 : * How can you see anything of me in that 
crazy creature ? ' she says. ' Fortunately I am nothing for 
her.' " 

Other well-attested instances of changed personality are 
reported, and several of these occur naturally, or as result 
of illness, but without hypnotization. The chapter of 
the James Psychology, which has already been quoted, 1 
contains accounts of many of these cases. 

1 Op, cit., Vol. I., Chapter X., " The Consciousness of Self." 


418 Changes in Personality 

It would be idle to pretend that such experiences have 
been satisfactorily explained, but an adequate discussion, 
of the theories which have been advanced, would involve 
us in a metaphysical consideration of personality. We 
shall merely, therefore, consider two theoretical tendencies. 
The first is that of very many writers on abnormal psy- 
chology. It supposes that each personality includes, be- 
sides the everyday self of the normal consciousness (the 
supraliminal self, as Mr. Myers calls it), 1 one or more 
split-off and relatively distinct selves (subliminal selves), 
the selves of the dream life, the vision and the hypnotic 
state. The everyday self is, on this theory, usually un- 
conscious of the subliminal experiences, but occasionally 
takes notice of them, for example, when it remembers 
visions or dreams. On the other hand, the subliminal 
self (whether dream-self, hypnotized self, or unexplained 
second self) ordinarily remembers the experience of the 
everyday self. 

On this theory, it should be noticed, even people who 
have never observed, in their own experience, any altera- 
tions of personality are regarded as none the less made up 
of supraliminal and subliminal selves. In other words, the 
normal is explained on the analogy of the abnormal con- 
sciousness. The argument, on which the theory is based, 
may be named an argument from continuity, and runs 
somewhat as follows : Some dreams and visions and 
hypnoses involve changes of personality, and must be 
explained by the hypothesis of a complex personality, 
made up of supraliminal and subliminal selves ; moreover, 
all abnormal experiences may be accounted for in the same 
way, and since one hypothesis may serve for all the phe- 
nomena, it is reasonable to make use of it. 

Opposed to this hypothesis of the subliminal self or 
selves, is a radically different theoretical tendency, which 

1 "The Subliminal Self," by F. W. H. Myers, Proceedings of the Society 
of Psychical Research, Vol. VIL, p. 298, et al. 

The Subliminal Self Theory 419 

the writer of this book regards as a safer one. This is 
the effort to account for the abnormal consciousness in 
terms of the normal. From this point of view, we may 
take exception to each step of the argument which has just 
been outlined. We may urge that one has closest knowl- 
edge of the everyday, conscious life, and that, therefore, 
every abnormal phenomenon, which is readily accounted 
for by analogy with the normal consciousness, should not 
be explained in any remoter way. In accordance with 
this general principle, we lay stress on the close resem- 
blance of most phenomena of dreaming, visions, automatic 
writing and hypnosis, to the different phases of our ordi- 
nary waking consciousness. Even so-called changes of 
personality, as observations of our dreams have shown 
us, are often merely unusual changes in the imagined 
environment of the old self. It follows that the sublimi- 
nal self theory, even if it be required for explanation of 
genuine changes of personality, should not be invoked to 
account for simple dreams, for crystal visions, or for light 

But we may object also to the initial affirmation of our 
opponents. In other words, we may deny that changes of 
personality can be explained only on the subliminal self 
theory. We readily admit that these phenomena are not 
explained by analogy with the normal consciousness; Leo- 
nie 2's forgetfulness of the first Leonie's husband, the 
transformation of Mary Reynolds from morose to gay, 1 
and the change of Ansel Bourne, the farmer, into Brown, 
the candy dealer, certainly are not paralleled in ordinary 

We must, therefore, either be content to leave these 
cases unexplained, or we must advance some additional 
hypothesis. The theory, already outlined, of distinct selves 
which are yet one personality, involves, in the opinion of 
the writer, both a logical and a psychological contradic- 

1 Cf. James, loc. cit. 

420 Veridical Experiences 

tion. A logically valid, though purely hypothetical, theory 
might hold that these alternating selves are distinct selves, 
connected with a single body. This, however, is a mere 
suggestion, not a formulated hypothesis. The records of 
changed personality are indeed so few, often so ill estab- 
lished and so indirectly observed, that they can hardly 
serve as basis for any satisfactory theory. It is safest for 
the student, in all doubtful cases, to assume that the abnor- 
mal self is ' changed,' rather than ' multiplied,' and to be- 
lieve that the explanation of the change must be sought 
among conditions, psychical or physiological, resembling 
those of the normal experience. 

(b) Veridical Experiences : Telepathy 

We shall briefly discuss, in conclusion, the psychic phe- 
nomena which are known as veridical, so-called prophetic 
dreams, and telepathic or clairvoyant visions. These ex- 
periences are alike, in that they are supposed to correspond 
with events, which could not be known by ordinary means. 
It should be noticed, first of all, that people are very read- 
ily mistaken in the veridical character of their experiences. 
Nothing is more common than the false impression, after 
an important event, that one has previously experienced 
it. Just as places seem familiar to us, when we have 
never seen them before, so we meet events, especially 
overwhelming ones, with a curious sense of having always 
known or expected them. Often, also, there is some 
slight basis for the impression of familiarity. We may 
indeed have had dream or image or illusion resembling the 
actual occurrence, and, as we have seen already, we often 
unconsciously supply the details of a fragmentary dream. 
There is little reason to doubt, that most prophetic dreams 
and visions are of this deceptive sort. Dreams and visions 
should never, therefore, be reckoned as veridical, unless 
they are recorded and communicated to other people, be- 
fore the dreamer hears of the actual occurrence. Sim- 

Telepathy 421 

ilar tests should be applied to veridical illusions and 

If now we limit our attention to veridical experiences, 
rigidly scrutinized, we shall doubtless find a number of 
well-attested instances. We are therefore concerned to 
suggest the explanation of them. It is evident, in the first 
place, that veridical phenomena may precede the events 
to which they refer, quite naturally, without the slightest 
connection between the vision and the event. For ex- 
ample, a dream of an absent friend may be due to the fact 
that one has recently re-read his letters, instead of being 
in any sense related to the fact that he is actually on his 
way home. 

It is, however, believed, by many careful students of 
veridical dreams and illusions, that there are far too many 
of them to be explained by mere chance coincidence. The 
most important alternative theory is that of telepathy. 
This is the doctrine, that individuals influence each other, 
by other than the normal means of language and bodily 
expression. Such a theory is perhaps more common than 
we realize. Most of us have observed the tendency, of 
people who know each other well, to make the same re- 
mark at the same instant, or to respond, as we say, to 
unspoken questions. We are apt to account uncritically 
for such experiences, by supposing a peculiar nearness of 
the two people and an especial unity of experience. This 
is essentially what is meant by telepathy. The technical 
argument for it is based, in part, on the occurrence of 
veridical phenomena, coinciding in time with the event to 
which they refer. One may quote, in illustration, the 
authenticated story 1 of Captain Colt, an officer of the 
British army, who had a vision on the eighth of Septem- 
ber, 1855, of the kneeling image of his brother, a soldier 
who was then before Sebastopol. The figure had a 
wound on the right temple. Captain Colt described the 

1 " Phantasms of the Living," Vol. I., p. 556. 

422 Telepathy 

vision to the members of his household, and both his ac- 
counts of it and his statement of the date are substantially 
corroborated by his sister. A fortnight later, he had news 
of his brother's death on the eighth of September. His 
brother's body had been found " in a sort of kneeling pos- 
ture . . . propped up by other bodies, and the death 
wound was where it had appeared in the vision." 

The argument for the existence of telepathy is strength- 
ened by the records of experimental observations. The 
original form of these experiments was practically what 
used to be known as the * willing-game ' : the experi- 
menter, by directing his attention to some object in the 
room, successfully 'willed' the subject to lay hold of it. 
It is easy to see, however, that in this procedure, the ex- 
perimenter not only wills the subject's movements, but 
actually directs them by slight, unintended movements of 
his own, in the desired direction. The more careful ex- 
periments in telepathy consist, therefore, in the reproduc- 
tion by one person, of pictures drawn or of objects fixedly 
regarded by another, when the two people are not in con- 
tact with each other, and when they have had no opportu- 
nity of communication, direct or indirect. Critics of these 
experiments allege that the subject's imitations are not 
really similar to the objects drawn or regarded, by the ex- 
perimenter, but that the observers deceive themselves by 
fancying resemblances which do not exist. Two of these 
critics, Lehmann and Hansen, have also proved the exist- 
ence of 'involuntary whispering,' without movement of 
the lips, and have shown that, in some telepathic experi- 
ments, the subject's imitation of the agent may have 
been occasioned in this normal way, and not by tele- 
pathic influence. 

It is therefore necessary to compare the likelihood of 
telepathic influence with the possibilities of chance coinci- 
dence and of unintended communication. Where the ex- 
perts disagree so widely, the laymen may well withhold 

Telepathy 423 

their decision. They may, however, avoid consistently two 
unscientific extremes of thought : on the one hand, the un- 
critical acceptance of every tale of abnormal experience 
and, on the other hand, the flat refusal to believe any 
story, however well authenticated, which contradicts the 
usual experience of every day. 



THE history of a science is the account of men's system- 
atic observation and thought on a given subject. It is 
evident that no one can profitably study other men's re- 
sults except by comparing them with results of his own 
observation and reflection. For this reason, the study of 
the history of a science never can replace, or precede, the 
study of the science itself. When, however, one has made 
one's own examination of the facts, and one's own reflec- 
tions and deductions, usually under the guidance and direc- 
tion of some one teacher and of some particular text-book, 
it is well to compare the familiar methods and results with 
the methods and results of other people. Besides serving 
as basis for the estimation of one's own theories, the study 
of the history of a science may, furthermore, furnish posi- 
tive suggestion and may definitely invigorate individual 

It is very difficult to define the limits of our study, for 
it is all but impossible to fix the beginnings of psychology. 
At the outset, it will be remembered, we admitted that sci- 
entific study differs in method, not in material, from every- 
day observation. It is natural, therefore, that the one 
should melt into the other without any fixed line of demar- 
cation. No one, for example, would reckon Homer among 
the psychologists, yet the germs of a classification of psy- 
chic facts are found, in his nice distinctions between the 
emotional experiences which he designates by the words 
pevos, Ovfjios, /capSia and rjrop. 


Psychological Systems 425 

In this chapter, we shall somewhat arbitrarily set out 
from Plato. This bars out, in the first place, the search 
for suggestions of psychology in Oriental teachings, but 
the omission is insignificant, since the Eastern mind is 
metaphysical, rather than scientific, containing philosophi- 
cal teachings about the soul, rather than psychological 
observations of the phenomena of consciousness. A more 
serious omission is that of the pre-Platonic Greek teaching ; 
for the beginnings of psychology are clearly discernible in 
the teachings of the Sophists, and Sokrates founded his 
vigorous ethical doctrine on psychological observation. 
The teachings both of the Sophists and of Sokrates were, 
however, in a sense, incorporated in the systems of Plato 
and of Aristotle. 

We are ready now for a preliminary classification of 
psychological systems, a sort of outline map of the way 
before us. The first division which suggests itself is that 
between ' philosophical ' and ' scientific ' systems. By 
' philosophical ' psychology is meant simply a combina- 
tion, and often a confusion, of psychology with philosophy. 
Such a system includes psychological analysis and classi- 
fication, else it would not be psychology at all, but it 
explains and often describes the facts which it observes, by 
referring them, not to other facts, but to a metaphysical 
system of reality. This confusion of psychology and phi- 
losophy certainly is unjustified, yet all ancient and mediae- 
val systems, and all modern theories, excepting some of 
the most recent, have shown precisely this confusion. 
They have treated psychology as a branch of philosophy, 
and have described its phenomena, not as scientific facts, 
but as themselves metaphysical realities or else as mani- 
festations of metaphysical reality. There are three main 
forms of this philosophical psychology: spiritualistic, 
materialistic and associationist theory. 

Spiritualistic psychology, which we shall first consider, 
is the doctrine that conscious experiences are faculties or 
activities of a soul. We must first, therefore, ask ourselves 

426 The Doctrine of the Soul 

what is meant by 'soul.' The question is not an easy one 
to answer, but the outline which follows includes the impor- 
tant features of the soul doctrine. The reflective savage 
must have noticed that his thoughts were relatively inde- 
pendent of his body. This must early have impressed him 
in connection with his dreams. He would wake from a 
dream of hunting in a dusky forest, to find himself lying 
at full length in his hut ; and a more wakeful companion 
would assure him that he had not stirred the whole night 
through. Thus he would gain, gradually, a distinction 
between the inner life of feelings and the outer life of 
things. The savage would discover that the inner life of 
his dreams and imaginations was his own, unshared by his 
companions, whereas, the external things were acknowledged 
by all the people of his family and tribe. He would not, 
however, be able to think of the inner life except as a 
shadow or image of the outer ; and thus he would gain, little 
by little, an image of the soul, as a shadowy sort of body, 
lighter and more easily moved than his flesh and blood 
body, in some way detachable from it, but, on the whole, 
inferior to it. The Homeric account of the visit of Odys- 
seus to the souls of the dead Hellenes, in the home of 
Hades, well illustrates these aspects of the early concep- 
tions of the soul. 

We have not time to dwell on the development of the 
soul doctrine, but must simply name the relatively per- 
manent features of the conception, as it appears in philo- 
sophical and in psychological systems. In the first place, 
the soul is regarded as somewhat which underlies con- 
sciousness and has consciousness, but which is not merely 
identical with consciousness. That is what is meant by 
the common assertion that the soul is a substance. It 
is fair to add that most doctrines of soul substance seem 
really to retain a trace of the primitive conception that the 
soul is a sort of material thing. But in the second place, 
the soul is distinguished from the body, primarily because 
it has consciousness, but also because it is believed in some 

The Psychology of Plato 427 

way to control the body. From this condensed account of 
the common features of spiritualistic doctrine about the soul, 
we shall go- on to outline briefly the psychology of Plato. 

There is no systematic summary of Plato's psychological 
teaching. It is scattered, here and there, through the dif- 
ferent dialogues, in close connection with philosophical or 
with ethical conclusions. Yet we are justified in admitting 
that Plato has a psychology, for not only is his observation 
of the life of consciousness keen and discriminating, but he 
shows also the clear beginnings of psychological classifica- 
tion. To most students of Plato, this mention of classifica- 
tion is likely to suggest the best known of his divisions of 
the soul, an account embodied in the beautiful myth of the 
Phaidros. This figures the soul as a charioteer, Reason, 
who drives two steeds, a rebellious black horse, symboliz- 
ing evil passions, and a gentle white steed, representing 
good desires. This enumeration of faculties is certainly, 
however, ethical and not psychological, for reason and evil 
impulse and good desire are complex states distinguished 
for their moral significance. But comparison of the dif- 
ferent dialogues will show that Plato elsewhere distin- 
guishes sense, 1 memory, passive and active, (/xz^'/z 7 ? an d 
avd/jLvrjais), 2 comparison, 3 generalization 4 and impulse. 6 
Sense is sharply distinguished from thought, as a whole, 
and is regarded as vastly inferior; and yet, in spite of this low 
valuation of sensations, Plato's enumeration of them is far 
more accurate than that of many modern writers, for he dis- 
tinguishes sensations of pleasure, pain, cold and warmth, 6 as 
well as sensations of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. 

An interesting instance of the occasional conflict be- 
tween philosophy and psychology, in Plato's teaching, is 

1 " Theaitetos," \$b tt al. 

2 "Phiiebos," 34; cf. "Theaitetos," 191 seq. and 198, and "Phaidon," 73"^. 
8 Cf. "Theaitetos," 184-186. 

4 Cf. " Parmenides," 132; "Phaidon," 74; "Theaitetos," 184-186. 
6 Cf. " Phaidros," 253-254; " Republic," Bk. III., 439 seq. 
"Theaitetos," 156. 

428 The Psychology of Demokritos 

the opposition of his metaphysical doctrine, that the soul 
is essentially self -moved, 1 to his psychological teaching that 
bodily changes condition sensations. To tell the truth, 
this inconsistency is common to spiritualistic systems. 
Without exception, they are unconsciously dualistic, that 
is, while they define consciousness as a function of the 
soul, they also look upon it as in some sense occasioned by 
bodily changes. Plato definitely formulates this teaching. 
" Sensation," he says, 2 " is carried through the body to the 
soul." The cause of sensation, he elsewhere teaches, 3 is 
the mingling of actual emanations from the organ and 
from the exciting object, for example, the mingling of 
sight from the eye and whiteness from the object. 

Nearly contemporaneous with the system of Plato was 
that of a great philosopher, whose view of reality was utterly 
opposed to Plato's. This is Demokritos, the first of the 
Greek materialists, a severely consistent and a brilliantly 
original thinker. He taught that the universe, conscious- 
ness included, is in its ultimate reality a complex of moving 
particles or atoms, differing only in number, in order, in 
arrangement and in motion. The soul atoms, he held, are 
fire-atoms, differing from others by being finer, smoother 
and more mobile. So far, of course, we have only a mate- 
rialistic philosophy of consciousness. But Demokritos must 
have attempted a psychological classification, for we are told 
that he distinguished four colors, and that he regarded 
black as composed of the others. Such assertions as that 
sense atoms are finer than thought atoms and that bitter- 
ness is made up of angular atoms 4 are a curious mixture 
of psychology and physics. 

This account of Demokritos, meagre as it is, includes 
almost all which we know of the great thinker's psychology. 
Greek literature has hardly sustained a greater loss than 

1 Cf. Phaidros," 245. 2 " Philebos," 33 c. 

8 "Timaios," 66; cf. " Theaitetos." 

4 Cf. Ritter u. Preller, " Historia Philosophise Grsecae," 8th ed., 1898, 199 
and 200. 

The Psychology of Aristotle 429 

that which it met, when the works of Demokritos perished 
with the great Alexandrian library. Historically, however, 
the system of Demokritos exerted very little influence, and 
psychology swung back, with philosophy, to the spiritualistic 
standpoint of Aristotle. The " Psychology " of Aristotle 
is the very earliest treatise on psychology, and is well worth 
reading to-day, not primarily for its great antiquarian in- 
terest, but because of its discriminating analysis and classi- 
fication of the facts of consciousness. The " Psychology " 
is made up of three Books, of which the first, deeply dyed 
in metaphysics, is a historical study of soul-theories. Book 
II. starts out with an exposition of Aristotle's own doctrine 
of the soul. He defines it now as ''form,' now as 'sub- 
stance,' and again as 'actuality,' or completeness of the 
body. From this he goes on to a discussion of sense-per- 
ception, setting forth the physical and physiological condi- 
tions of sensation, with remarkable detail and system. The 
opinions of Aristotle on physics and on physiology are not, 
of course, any longer valuable in themselves. They include, 
it is true, much which is correct, and much which antici- 
pates the results of later study. The teaching that sound 
is air vibration, 1 and the doctrine that touch is the ' pre- 
supposition of the other senses ' and that ' life is constituted 
by this sense ' 2 are examples of Aristotle's successful obser- 
vation and theory. Yet much which he teaches on these 
subjects is incomprehensible, for example, his doctrine of 
light as * pellucity ' ; and still more of his teaching is utterly 
mistaken, for example, his theory that the heart is the bodily 
centre of consciousness, and that the brain is merely a sort 
of cooling apparatus to counteract the great heat of the 
heart. In this last regard, Aristotle is distinctly behind 
Plato, for Plato taught that the brain is the bodily centre 
of thought, though not of desire and of sensation. Yet the 
psychology of Aristotle, as a whole, advances upon that of 
Plato, precisely in the completeness and consistency with 

1 " Psychology," Bk. II., Chapter VIII. * Op. cit., Bk. III., Chapter XIII. 

430 The Psychology of Aristotle 

which he carries out, systematically, the method which Plato 
had employed incidentally : the classification of psychical 
experiences by referring them to distinct physical phe- 
nomena and to different physiological organs. 

To Aristotle, as well as to Plato, consciousness is more 
than mere sense-perception. His teaching, however, is 
difficult, because it really includes two distinct conceptions 
of the unsensuous consciousness. The first of these, one 
may outline as follows, commenting on it as one proceeds : 
besides sense and desire, 1 we have thought (TO vodv\ 
which has two main forms, imagination ((fravTacria), and 
conception (L/TToX^-^rt?). 2 Imagination is admirably described 
as the picturing faculty, 3 which does not concern itself with 
the true or false. 4 Conception, or thought in the narrower 
sense, is distinguished not from a strictly psychological 
standpoint, but according as it deals with the true, or with 
the contingent, Desire is described as 'motive faculty,' 5 
is classified as rational or irrational, and is emphatically 
asserted to depend upon imagination. " No animal," Aris- 
totle says, " can have the faculty of desire unless it have 
imagination " (ope/cn/cov Be ov/c avev (fravraa-las). 6 This is a 
long, long step toward the very modern doctrine of volition 
as essentially anticipatory image. 

Aristotle holds, as has been pointed out, a second theory 
of the unsensational consciousness. In this doctrine, nev^r 
closely coordinated with the rest of his teaching, he has a 
curious and comprehensive term by which he designates all 
the unsensational activities of consciousness : the ' common 
sense' (KOLVOV alo-Orjrripiov). This common, or central, sense 
has really, according to Aristotle, three functions. In the 
first place, it is that by which we are conscious of the ' com- 
mon sensibles ' apprehended by more than one sense : rest, 
movement, figure and magnitude ; 7 in the second place, 

1 " Psychology," Vol. III., Chapter X. 2 Ibid., Chapter III., 5. 
8 Ibid., 6. * Ibid., 7. 

6 Ibid., Chapter X. 6 Op. cit., Bk. III., Chapter X., 9. 

7 Op. dt., Bk. III., Chapter I., 5. 

The Doctrine of the ' Common Sense ' 43 1 

it is that by which we compare and discriminate sense- 
experiences ; l and finally, it is that by which we recognize 
sensations as our own, in other words, by which we are 
self-conscious. 2 We have not space to discuss, in detail, the 
considerations suggested by this doctrine, as notable for its 
keen discrimination as for its curious confusions. It is evi- 
dent, however, that the functions of this common-sense are 
so distinct that they cannot fairly be grouped together. 
The consciousness of motion and of figure are, indeed, we 
are disposed to agree with Aristotle, sensational, yet not 
so utterly different, as he supposes, from the consciousness 
of color or of flavor. Comparison and discrimination, on 
the contrary, are precisely what Aristotle has himself called 
thought, and there is no appropriateness in the term ' sense,' 
as applied to them. The third part of the common-sense 
doctrine is, doubtless, essentially correct in its teaching that 
psychology, even while it studies, not the ' soul ' but sensa- 
tion and thought, is none the less a study, not merely of 
conscious functions, but of a self who is conscious. It is, 
however, very misleading to name self-consciousness ' com- 
mon-sense,' and to confuse it with comparison and space- 

One important topic of Aristotle's psychology has not 
even been mentioned, because of its definitely philosophi- 
cal character: his doctrine of creative reason. We cannot, 
however, conclude our study, brief as it is, without a ref- 
erence to the minor treatises, De Sensu, De Somno, and De 
Memoria^ to quote them by their Latin names. These little 
monographs are full of suggestive observation and analysis. 
The first supplements the second book of the Psychology ; 
the second considers the psychology of dreams ; the third 
discusses the phenomena and laws of association, in a far 
more discriminating way than most modern treatises. 

The most impressive part of these Hellenic systems of 
psychology is the frequency with which Plato, and espe- 

i Op. V., Bk. III., Chapter I., 7. 2 Ibid., Chapter II., i, 425. 

43 2 Greek Psychology 

daily Aristotle, cut loose from their metaphysical leading 
strings, and employ the strictly scientific methods, analyz- 
ing conscious experiences and classifying them by refer- 
ence, not to philosophical realities, but to physiological and 
physical facts. There could hardly be a stronger historical 
argument for the essentially scientific nature of psychology. 
Incidentally, also, the study of Greek psychology is of 
value, in counteracting the modern view that all scientific 
observation and theory, psychological included, is a purely 
nineteenth-century product. And there is, finally, a direct 
advantage in the study of these ancient systems. Nobody, 
for example, can carefully read the psychological works of 
Aristotle without being stimulated to keener introspection 
and to more vigorous thought. 

A study of the later Greek psychology would not sub- 
serve the aim of this very general survey. We should find 
very many suggestive expositions, for example, St. Augus- 
tine's chapters on memory, 1 but we should discover few 
new principles ; for ancient, mediaeval and scholastic psy- 
chology alike are dominated by the influence of Plato, and, 
in greater degree, by that of Aristotle. The only important 
exception to this statement, the Epikurean doctrine, is 
modelled on the system of Demokritos. 

Our review of Greek psychology has thus disclosed one 
system, that of Demokritos, whose background of meta- 
physics is materialism, and two systems based on a spirit- 
ualistic, yet dualistic, philosophy. For both Plato and 
Aristotle taught that conscious phenomena are soul-activi- 
ties, and in this sense their philosophy is spiritualistic ; yet 
they also taught that consciousness is influenced by bodily 
phenomena, and by this teaching their systems become 
dualistic. Modern philosophy contains still another modi- 
fication of spiritualistic doctrine, namely, parallelism ; and an 
utterly new philosophic conception, that of associationism. 

i "Confessions," X., 19, and XL, 7. 

The Psychology of Descartes 433 

We shall consider very briefly the psychological systems, 
whose metaphysical starting-point is parallelism. Des- 
cartes * introduced into philosophy the conception of psy- 
chic and physical events as perfectly parallel but utterly 
distinct and unlike each other, 2 and as influencing each 
other at one point only, the pineal gland of the brain. 3 His 
conception of psychology is therefore practically that of 
Plato ; but his views of bodily phenomena are far more 
accurate, in spite of the fact that he shares the common be- 
lief of his time, that the nerves are mere channels through 
which the animal spirits, or subtlest particles of the 
blood, flow from the brain to the muscles. 4 He describes 
and classifies conscious phenomena as soul-activity, or will 
(volonti), and soul-passivity perception, imagination and 
emotion. 6 His detailed account of the emotions derives 
them from the six basal feelings of wonder, love, hate, de- 
sire, joy and sadness. His introspective analysis is both 
suggestive and discriminating, but unquestionably the chief 
interest of his work is his vivid description of what he calls 
the ' causes ' 6 of these passions : the variations in pulse, in 
bodily warmth and in digestive conditions, and his equally 
accurate description of the ' external signs ' 7 : blushing, 
turning pale, laughing and crying. In all this, Descartes 
is at his best, and the modern student of the bodily accom- 
paniments of the emotions will find in Descartes's little 
work not merely an anticipation of the James-Lange theory, 8 
but the summarized result of much keen observation. 
With the rigid consistency which characterizes all his 

1 Rene Descartes, born 1596, died 1650. 

2 Cf. " Meditation," VI : " It is certain that my mind is entirely and truly 
distinct from my body." Cf. " Principles," Pt. I., VIII. 

8 " Les Passions de 1'Ame," Premiere Partie, Art. 31, 42, et at. Cf. "Medi- 
tation," VI. Descartes's reason for believing that the pineal gland is ' seat of 
the soul ' is, that the other parts of the brain are double, whereas " there is but 
one sole and simple thought of the same thing at the same time." 

4 Ibid., Premiere Partie, Art. 10 et al. 7 Ibid., 2me Partie, Arts. 112 seq. 

6 Ibid., Premiere Partie, Art. 17. 8 Cf. Chapter XX., p. 2^ seq. 

* Ibid., 2me Partie, Arts. 95 seq. 

434 The Psychology of Spinoza 

thought, Spinoza a carries into his psychology the parallel- 
ism which he adopts from Descartes. His philosophy 
may be termed a Monism, that is to say, he teaches that 
both consciousness (which he calls Thought) and matter 
(which he calls Extension) are parallel manifestations of a 
deeper reality, Substance or God. Since, however, on his 
view, body does not influence mind, 2 any more than mind 
affects body, the psychology of Spinoza is, in a way, a 
spiritualistic system. He has also a tendency to regard 
ideas, without reference to the mind which has them, as 
determining each other ; and in this way his psychology is 
a forerunner of associationism. He was certainly influ- 
enced, in a marked way, by his older English contempo- 
rary, Thomas Hobbes, first of British Associationists. Like 
Descartes, Spinoza centres his psychological interest in the 
study of the emotions. His doctrine contains important 
elements of Descartes's teaching, mingled with the theory 
of Hobbes, that joy and sorrow are, essentially, self-preser- 
vation and self-destruction. Both doctrines, however, are 
modified in accordance with Spinoza's highly individual 
system. Emotions are defined as " affections of the body, 
by which its power of motion is increased or diminished, 
and the ideas occurring at the same time." 3 Emotions are 
thus regarded no longer, as by Descartes, as effects of 
bodily change, but merely as close accompaniments of theie 
changes. Though undertaken as a basis for his ethical 
teaching, Spinoza's analyses and descriptions of the differ- 
ent emotions are discriminating and often brilliant, in spite 
of the rigid and dogmatic form of the " Ethics," which is 
made up, like a textbook in geometry, of definitions, axioms, 
theorems and corollaries. 

The psychology of Leibniz, the third of the great con- 
tinental philosophers of the seventeenth century, is again 

1 Baruch de Spinoza, born, Amsterdam, 1632; died, the Hague, 1677. 

2 Cf. " Ethics," Pt. III., Prop. II. "The body cannot determine the mind 
to thought, neither can the mind determine the body to motion nor rest." 

8 " Ethics," Pt. III., Definition III. 

The Psychology of Leibniz 435 

a spiritualistic doctrine. So closely, however, is psycholog- 
ical analysis interwoven with metaphysical doctrine, that it 
is hardly possible to describe the psychology without a 
detailed discussion of the metaphysics. Perhaps the most 
significant contribution of Leibniz to psychology is his 
sharp distinction between inattentive and attentive con- 
sciousness (petites perceptions and apperception)}- Later 
psychology has unjustifiably made this over into a doctrine 
of unconscious ideas. 2 It should be added that writers 
of the Leibniz school enlarged the division of conscious 
functions, current since the days of Aristotle, by expressly 
recognizing emotions as well as knowledge and volition. 3 

These continental systems may be lightly passed over 
in this summary, since no one of them has exerted an im- 
portant influence on psychological theory, whereas each 
has been immensely significant to the history of philos- 
ophy. But though we are justified in this slight treatment 
of the early continental writers, we must approach the 
British school in a very different way, for its currents 
still mingle with the stream of present-day psychological 
tendencies, and its principles have been formative ones 
in the growth of modern psychology. The first of Eng- 
lish psychologists is Thomas Hobbes, 4 the only English- 
man, if we except Herbert Spencer, who has ever produced 
a complete system of metaphysics. The philosophy of 
Hobbes is a physical materialism : he reduces all phenom- 
ena, facts of consciousness included, to forms of motion, 
defining sensation as ' some internal motion in the sen- 
tient,' 5 and delight as a ' motion proceeding to the heart/ 6 

1 Cf. "New Essays," Preface and Bk. II., Chapter I. (pp. 47 seq. and 
112 seq., Langley's translation). 2 Cf. this chapter, p. 439. 

8 Cf. Windelband, " History of Philosophy," p. 512. 

4 Hobbes was born in 1588, and died in 1679. His most important psycho- 
logical work is the " Human Nature," written in 1642, though published later, 
English Works, Vol. IV. See also "De Corpore," and "Leviathan," 
Bk. I. 

6 " Concerning Body," English Works, Vol. I., p. 390. 

6 " Human Nature," English Works, Vol. IV., Chapter VII., p. 31. 

436 The Psychology of Hob be s 

Yet, more successfully than any writer who has been 
named, Hobbes attempts to keep his philosophy out of 
his psychology, so that his treatises are, to this day, very 
well worth reading, for their keen analysis and their vigor- 
ous expression. They contain also definite anticipations 
of later theories. For example, the James-Lange emotion 
theory is clearly suggested by this account of passion : 
" When the action of an object is continued from the 
eyes, ears and other organs to the Heart . . . the sense 
of that motion ... we either call Delight or Trouble of 
Mind." 1 And Munsterberg's account of volition as anti- 
cipatory idea, is foreshadowed in the definition of will as 
" the last appetite or aversion immediately adhering to the 
action." 2 

It should be said also that Hobbes, far more adequately 
than many who followed him, often treated psychology 
as a social science of related selves. This view is espe- 
cially prominent in his analysis of emotions, and two quo- 
tations shall conclude this outline, both illustrative of 
Hobbes's pessimistic belief in the exclusively egoistic and 
overbearing tendencies of human beings. " Sudden Glory," 
he says, "is the passion which maketh those Grimaces 
called Laughter ; and is caused either by some sudden 
art of their own which pleaseth them, or by the appre- 
hension of some deformed thing in another by comparisor 
whereof they suddenly applaud themselves." " Grief for 
the Calamity of another," he says, a little later, " is Pitty ; 
and ariseth from the imagination that the like calamity may 
befal himself." 3 

The value of the psychology of Hobbes, is, however, 
out of all proportion to its influence, which was slight. 
For the suspicion, right or wrong, of his atheism, and the 
certainty of his materialism roused among his contem- 
poraries a horror of his doctrines, which greatly reduced 
the effectiveness of his teaching. It is quite otherwise 

1 " Leviathan," Pt. I., Chapter VI. 2 Ibid. Ibid. 

The Psychology of Locke 437 

with John Locke, 1 whose great work, the " Essay on Human 
Understanding," in large measure determined the course of 
English philosophy. The book, which was very widely 
read, is like all the treatises which have so far been named, 
a mixture of psychology and philosophy. It is a curious 
triple web of idea-theory, mental-faculty doctrine, and 
philosophy of spirit and matter. Its general merits are 
the fearlessness and the honesty with which it is written, 
and the definiteness with which it translates everyday 
philosophical conceptions into vigorous and unambiguous 
English. Its main psychological values are two : they can 
be briefly stated, but their immense importance must not 
be lost out of sight. First and foremost, the book is a 
model of honest and independent introspection. It con- 
tinually drives the student to examine his own experience ; 
and it abounds in assertions of the individuality of intro- 
spection. "Can another man," Locke exclaims, "perceive 
that I am conscious of anything, when I perceive it not 
myself?" 2 "All that I can say of my book," he later 
writes of it, "is that it is a copy of my own mind." 3 

In the second place, Locke virtually introduces what a 
famous opponent called his 'new way by ideas.' That is 
to say, Locke is first to look at experience not only as a 
combination of soul-activities or mental faculties, but as a 
succession of ideas, to be analyzed and classified by the 
psychologist. This is a conception of the greatest signifi- 
cance, introducing into psychology a method which has 
never, since Locke's day, been abandoned, and preparing the 
way for the characteristic system of English psychology. 

The next great British philosopher, George Berkeley, 4 
perpetuated this psychological method. What is known as 
the ' empirical ' space theory is, as we have seen, 5 a contri- 
bution of Berkeley to psychological theory. Yet Berkeley's 
theory of ideas and even his space doctrine are strictly 

1 1632-1704. The " Essay" was published in 1690. 

2 " Essay," Bk. II., Chapter I., 19. 8 Letter to Bishop of Worcester. 
4 1685-1753. * Cf. Chapter VII., p. 89^. 

438 The Psychology of Hume 

subordinated to his metaphysical system, and no one of his 
works approaches Hume's 1 "Treatise on Human Nature" 
in psychological value. 

The importance of Hume's psychology is this : it is the 
foundation of British Associationism. This form of philo- 
sophical psychology has so dominated the English school, 
that we must consider its general features before going on 
to study any expression of it. The underlying conception 
of associationism is simply this : each 'idea,' or fact of con- 
sciousness, is viewed as an independent and revivable reality, 
and as endowed with a certain power or force known as 
association. A practical addition to most associationist theo- 
ries, from Hume's onward, is the conviction that given as- 
sociation and sensations only, all psychic phenomena can be 
satisfactorily accounted for ; in other words, associationism 
is usually, though not of necessity, a sensationalist doctrine. 

This definition must now be substantiated by quotations 
from several writers, including, first, certain statements of 
the permanence and revivability of ideas. "Any sensa- 
tions A, B, and C," says Hartley, one of the earliest of 
associationists, " by being associated with one another get 
such a power over ideas a, b, c, that any one of the sensa- 
tions . . . shall be able to excite in the mind Ideas of the 
rest." Here ' the ideas a, Z>, and c ' are evidently looked 
on as permanent realities, sometimes in the mind and some- 
times out of it. Priestley's expression, "feelings which 
ideas have power of recalling," suggests the same view, 
and statements of the same sort could be multiplied. The 
doctrine of association, as a force, is illustrated by Hume's 
definition of association as a ' gentle force,' 2 by Hartley's 
statements about the ' power over ideas ' through associa- 
tion, 3 and by Spencer's assertions 4 that feelings ' cohere ' 
and ' integrate ' and compound themselves. 

1 The dates of Hume are 1711-1776. The treatise was published in 1739. 

2 " Treatise," Bk. I., Pt. I., 4. 

3 " Observations on Man," Pt. I., Chapter I., Section 2, Prop. X. 

4 Principles of Psychology," Pt. II. Cf. especially Chapter VII. 

Associationist Psychology 439 

We have finally to illustrate the conviction of the asso- 
ciationist, that association is the sufficient explanation of all 
conscious experience. " Every mental affection and opera- 
tion," Priestley says, "are but different modes or cases of 
the Association of Ideas." <; All intellectual phenomena," 
Stuart Mill declares, " are derived from association. . . . 
The law extends to everything." a In accordance with this 
view, James Mill defines love as association of agreeable- 
ness with object, and belief as inseparable association; and 
Hume makes belief a vivid association. 2 

The list which follows names important British asso- 
ciationists, adding occasionally a word of comment on their 
books : 

DAVID HUME, 1711-1776. 

"Treatise on Human Nature," 1739; "Inquiry," 1749. 
DAVID HARTLEY, 1704-1757. 

"Observations on Man," 1749. An interesting work, greatly influ- 
enced by Newton's theory of vibrations, which Hartley applies 
awkwardly, though suggestively, to the physiology of the nervous 
system. The book is a curious combination of physiology and 
associationist psychology. 
ABRAHAM TUCKER, 1705-1774. 

" The Light of Nature, 1 ' 1768-1777. A forgotten book full of good 

description and lively illustration. 

Edition of Hartley, 1775. Priestley discards the physiology and 

morals which < clog ' Hartley's system. 
JAMES MILL, 1773-1836, <the reviver of the Association-theory.' 

" Analysis of the Phenomena of Human Mind," 1829. 
JOHN STUART MILL, 1806-1873. 

Notes on James Mill's " Analysis." "Examination of Sir William 

Hamilton's Philosophy." 

" Senses and Intellect," "Emotions and Will." 

" Principles of Psychology." (First Ed. 1855.) 

Before comment upon the doctrine thus outlined, men- 
tion must be made of associationism in Germany, where, 

1 Note to James Mill's " Analysis of the Human Mind." 

2 "Treatise," Bk. I., Pt. III. 

440 Associationist Psychology 

indeed, the doctrine is to-day far more important than in 
England. Its first great exponent was J. F. Herbart, 1 and 
it is represented, in more modern times, by Theodor Lipps, 2 
by Volkmann, 3 and by others. We are best acquainted 
with German associationism as a basis of pedagogy, for 
Herbart was a pedagogical thinker of great originality and 
effectiveness; and his widest influence has been in this 
field. The associationism of Herbart is philosophically 
peculiar because it is grafted upon a very different type of 
theory. Herbart believes in the existence of soul-sub- 
stances, and defines ideas as ' self -preservations,' and thus 
as activities of the soul. This theory sharply distinguishes 
his view from that of the English associationists, who ban- 
ish 'souls,' and treat ideas as final realities and souls as 
entirely de trop. Practically, however, the two types of 
system closely approach each other, for Herbart makes no 
use of his souls to account for psychic phenomena, and 
really treats experience as a jostling crowd of ideas which 
reenforce or oppose each other. The result, of this constant 
activity of the independent and active ideas, he describes as 
their alternating disappearance below the threshold of con- 
sciousness and their reappearance above it ; and the succes- 
sive sinking and emergence he attributes both to the inherent 
force of each idea and to the opposition or assistance of 
other ideas. The definition, already given, of association- 
ism is thus in complete accord with Herbart's doctrine. 

Associationism is so important, not only as a historical 
movement but as a constant tendency, and is yet so mis- 
taken, that the exposition of it cannot be left without com- 
ment. It is undeniably an easy form of thought, or at 
least of expression. We can readily express many con- 
scious experiences, emotional unrest and deliberation, for 

1 1776 to 1841. Cf. " Lehrbuch zur Psychologic," 1816 (translation "Text- 
book of Psychology," 1891); " Psychologic als Wissenschaft," 1824 (cf. Pt. I., 
I.-IIL; Pt.III., I.). 

2 Grundtatsachen d. Seelenlebens, 1883. (Lipps is not a pure Herbartian.) 
Lehrbuch der Psychologic," 1884. 

Associationist Psychology 441 

example, as conflicts of ideas ; and what is originally meta- 
phor grows to seem like reality. More seriously, in the 
second place, the doctrine of permanent and revivable ideas, 
possessed of an activity of their own, would offer a satis- 
factory explanation of certain experiences difficult to account 
for. These are, first, the fact that events long forgotten 
are recalled. In what state, Herbart asks, is the absent 
idea " which is yet in our possession ? " And his answer 
may be summarized thus : the forgotten idea is below the 
threshold of consciousness ; it must exist, else we should 
never again repossess ourselves of it, that is, remember it ; 
and yet while it is forgotten we evidently are not conscious 
of it. In the same way, the independent but unconscious 
existence of ideas would explain the spontaneous occurrence 
of ideas, in the midst of our thought of entirely different 
things. The name, which flashes upon us when we have 
given over trying to remember it, and the unexplained 
recollection of a long-forgotten scene are experiences 1 
which argue for the theory of permanent ideas, actively 
calling each other up or suppressing each other. 

The objections to the theory are, however, perfectly con- 
clusive. In the first place, this doctrine of independent 
idea-things is clearly a theory of final reality, that is, a phi- 
losophy, and not a psychology ; for psychology is primarily 
an analysis and classification of conscious experiences. 
Furthermore, this doctrine of the idea is flatly self-con- 
tradictory and thus invalid. For an idea is a phenome- 
non, or event of consciousness; it cannot exist when no 
one is conscious of it, for it is no more nor less than a fact 
of consciousness, a somewhat which is conscious-ed, so to 
speak. If we take away its being known, we have taken 
away its very being, and nothing is left. So also an idea, 
just because it is an event, is temporal, belongs to a given 
moment and cannot be revived at another time. Nothing 
which I see to-day can actually bring back the idea which I 

1 Cf. Herbart, " Textbook," pp. 148, 174. 

442 Associationist Psychology 

had yesterday morning ; it is gone as irrevocably as yester- 
day is gone. My to-day's idea of the Shaw Monument is 
different from my yesterday's idea of it ; this minute's idea 
of a blue jay is different from the last minute's idea of it. 
We assume the identity of the two, 1 but it certainly is not 
an actual identity. 

With this exposition and criticism of associationism, our 
review of philosophical systems of psychology is really 
concluded. For the sake, however, of fairness to material- 
istic systems, two reappearances of materialistic psychol- 
ogy must be mentioned. It is characteristic of modern 
scientific interests that these are physiological in the type 
of their materialism, and not, like the system of Demokri- 
tos, and in less degree like that of Hobbes, a physical 
materialism. Two groups of writers have espoused this 
general theory : Condillac, 2 Bonnet 3 and other French 
writers of the eighteenth century ; and Karl Vogt,* Louis 
Biichner 6 and J. Moleschott, 6 German writers of the middle 
of the nineteenth century. Instead of treating of psychic 
and physiological facts as coordinate, these men regard the 
body as a deeper sort of reality than consciousness, and 
consider consciousness as a function of the brain, teaching 
that "the brain secretes thought." 

From this rapid survey of psychological systems, ancient 
and modern, we turn to the psychology of the immediate 
present. It is easy to detect the dominant phase of these 
present-day systems. ' Psychology as a science ' is their 
war-cry, and however they quarrel among themselves, they 
are agreed in opposing the traditional conception of psy- 
chology as a philosophical discipline. In speaking of 

1 Cf. Chapter XIX., p. 259; and Chapter XIL, pp. 161-162. 

2 Cf. especially "Traite des Sensations," 1754. 
8 Cf. " Essai de Psychologic," 1755. 

* Cf. especially " Kohlerglaube und Wissen," 1854. 

6 Cf. " Kraft und Stoff," 1855. 

Cf. "Kreislauf des Lebens," 1852. 

Modern 'Experimental' Psychology 443 

scientific psychology, we must, however, guard ourselves 
against two inadequate conceptions of it. Some writers 
have held that modern psychology is scientific, simply be- 
cause it concerns itself so deeply with the physiological con- 
ditions of experience. So, Le Conte says that psychology 
is but another name for nerve-physiology. But though 
psychology rightly attempts to assign the bodily conditions 
of consciousness, it does not thereby lose its own identity 
as a study of conscious phenomena ; and, in truth, it con- 
siders bodily facts only as these are related to conscious- 
ness. Psychology is, therefore, a distinct science, not a 
branch of physiology. 

The modern claim that psychology must be ranked among 
the sciences is sometimes, furthermore, based solely on the 
assertion that psychology, giving over the method of intro- 
spection, has become experimental. There is certainly no 
question that modern psychology is through and through 
experimental. The elementary student begins at once to 
repeat the well-known experiments on himself; the ad- 
vanced student investigates experimentally some original 
problem ; the forward movement in psychology is, in a word, 
by the method of experiment. There are many indications 
of this progress. The first experiments, carried on by E. 
H. Weber and elaborated by G. T. Fechner, were psycho- 
physical rather than psychological. They concerned the 
relation of increase of stimulus to change of sensation, and 
resulted in the formulation of Weber's Law. 1 The first 
laboratory, that of Wilhelm Wundt, was founded in 1879. 
Its early problems concerned reaction-times, applications 
of Weber's Law and discrimination of intervals, and were 
largely or wholly attempts to connect psychic phenomena 
with measurable physical facts. To-day there certainly 
are more than thirty psychological laboratories, in the 
United States alone. And, more important than the multi- 

1 Ernst Heinrich Weber, " De Tactu," 1834. Cf. Weber, "Tastsinn u. 
Gemeingefuhl," and Gustav Theodor Fechner, " Elemente der Psychophysik," 
Leipzig, 1860, especially pp. 134 seq. 

444 The Conception of ' Scientific ' Psychology 

plication of laboratories and equipments, is the steady 
increase of scholarly investigators engaged in the experi- 
mental study of psychological problems. These problems 
no longer restricted to the study of purely sensational con- 
sciousness, are so widened in their scope that they include 
the consideration of memory, of thought and even of emo- 
tion and volition. 

The most obvious distinction of the present-day psychol- 
ogy is certainly, therefore, its experimental methods. The 
significance of experiment to psychology cannot, indeed, 
be overestimated. As safeguard against careless intro- 
spection, and as stimulus to detailed observation, experi- 
ment is of untold value to every psychologist. None the 
less, we must reject, without qualification, the suggestion 
of certain writers, that psychology is scientific only in so 
far as it is experimental. For experiment, as we have 
seen, 1 is a method of strengthening introspection, not 
a device for supplanting it. Psychology to-day is as in- 
trospective as ever it was, although its introspection is 
guarded and invigorated by experiment. Not, therefore, 
because it is experimental, but because, without reference 
to ultimate reality, it analyzes, classifies and explains con- 
scious experiences, psychology is rightly named a science. 

Two conceptions of scientific psychology are recognized 
by modern writers. The first is the theory of psychology, 
as study of succeeding ideas conditioned by physiological 
and physical facts. The most consistent upholders of the 
system are Munsterberg, Titchener, and a group of recent 
German writers, of whom we may take G. E. M tiller and 
H. Cornelius as types. The theory js clearly allied to 
associationism, in that it regards experience as a succes- 
sion of ideas. But it does not, like associatipnism, turn 
a psychological description into a philosophical doctrine 
by attributing any permanence, or force, or revivability to 
ideas. Certain upholders of the modern theory make, it 

1 Cf. Chapter I., p. 10. 

The Methods of Scientific Psychology 445 

is true, the old confusion of associationism with sensation- 
alism, teaching that the succeeding ideas are reducible to 
purely sensational (or to sensational and affective) ele- 
ments ; but others, Meinong 1 and Cornelius, 2 for example, 
and, first of them all, William James, teach that the ana- 
lytic study of ideas discloses other than sensational ele- 
ments the feelings of one-ness, of difference, of likeness 
and the other relational elements. 

The second modern tendency is as closely allied with 
the spiritualistic doctrine. It is the conception, expounded 
in this book, of psychology as the study of a conscious 
self (regarded as fact, not as metaphysical reality) in com- 
plex relation with other selves. The affiliation of this 
doctrine with spiritualistic psychology, such as Plato's or 
Locke's, is obvious. For if one cease thinking of the soul 
as possessed of a shadowy reality other than self-conscious- 
ness, 3 then at once the ' soul ' of the earlier conceptions 
turns into the 'self,' the concrete, particular I or you, 
realized by every one, without philosophical reflection, as 
a fact underlying the ideas. Franz Brentano, 4 G. F. Stout, 6 
J. M. Baldwin 6 and Josiah Royce, 7 may be named as 
writers who have treated psychology as a study, not of 
ideas but of conscious selves. 

The common procedure, it must be confessed, is the 
confusion of the two points of view and the vacillation 
from one method to another. Wilhelm Wundt, G. T. Ladd, 
Harold Hoffding and William James are representatives of 
this tendency. Wundt, for instance, adds to his analysis 
of Vorstellungen an uncoordinated doctrine of ' inner activ- 
ity ' ; and James oscillates, without explanation, between the 

1 "Uber Gegenstande hoherer Ordnung u. s. w." Ztsch. f. Psychol. 1899, 
Vol. XXL, pp. 182-272. 

2 " Psychologic als Erfahrungs \vissenschaft." Leipzig, 1897. Cf. " Ueber 
Gestaltqualitaten," Ztsch., Vol. XXII., pp. 101 seq. 

8 Cf. p. 426. * " Psychologic," 1874. 

6 "Analytic Psychology." " Social and Ethical Interpretations." 

7 Cf. "Studies in Good and Evil," VI., VIII. and IX.; "Imitation," 
Psychological Review, II., 230. 

446 The Methods of Psychology 

two methods of regarding consciousness, now as a ' stream ' 
of thoughts or a succession of ' feelings/ and again as a 
set of 'cognitive functions' or 'operations.' 

A main purpose of this book has been to show that 
both these conceptions of scientific psychology are valid ; 
and that every conscious experience may be regarded from 
either point of view : as mere idea, adequately described 
when it is analyzed into its elements, or as the conscious 
experience of a self, to be treated not merely as a complex 
of structural elements, but as conscious relation of a self 
to other selves. 




THE bodily changes most closely associated with phenomena 
of consciousness are certainly those of the nervous system. It is 
useful, therefore, as introduction to strictly psychological study, 
to consider, in brief outline, the development, the structure and 
the function of the nervous system. 1 The embryonic area of the 
human ovum becomes differentiated at first into two layers, epi- 
blast and hypoblast, between which a third, the mcsoblast, is later 
formed. From these three layers, distinguished by the form 
and groupings of their cells, are developed all the parts of the 
animal organism. From the hypoblast are derived the epithelial 
linings of the body; from the mcsoblast are formed the muscles, 
the skeleton and the vascular system; and the epiblast is the 
source of the skin, of important parts of the sense-organs and of 
the nervous system. Within this epiblast (or ecto- 
derm) there very early appears a furrow or depres- 
sion, the medullary groove, whose thickened wall 
soon closes upon itself, to form a sort of hollow 
tube which later develops into the cerebro-spinal 
system. The lower or posterior part of this tube 
becomes the spinal cord; the forward part is the 
primitive form of the brain. This forward part 
very quickly divides itself into three bulbs, called 
the first, the second and the third cerebral vesicles. 

These cerebral vesicles, however, undergo such 
complicated changes, that it is hard to recognize 
a trace of them in the developed adult brain. The 
most important of these changes will be briefly 
enumerated and, in part, illustrated, without the attempt to 
settle the difficult question of their order: 

First, the number of vesicles increases in two ways: by the 


FIG. 9. 


1 See Bibliography. 


Development of the Brain 

FIG. 10. 

division of the hind-brain or third vesicle so as to form two parts 
(4 and 5 in Figure 10); and by the outgrowth, from the fore-brain 
or first vesicle, of two more vesicles, side by 
side (H), the originals of the cerebral hemi- 
spheres. Second, the brain is bent at several 
points in a ventral or forward direction. The 
most important of these points are the forward 
part of the fifth vesicle and the forward part of 
the mid-brain (x andjy in Figure 1 1). Third, 
the cerebral hemispheres expand in all direc- 
tions, so as finally to cover all parts except 
the hind-brain, folding in upon themselves 
in such wise as to form what we know as fis- 
sures and convolutions. Fourth, all the other 
vesicle-walls (except the posterior wall of the 
fifth vesicle) thicken and become differenti- 
ated, first, into the 'basal ganglia,' or 
'interior brain ' corpora striata, op- 
tic thalami and optic lobes distinct 
nerve-centres, around which the hemi- 
spheres fold; and second, into the ex- 
ternal parts of the 'lower brain': the 
crura cerebri, two bundles of up and 
down fibres, the pons, a band of trans- 
verse fibres uniting the two halves of 
the cerebellum, and the medulla, mainly 
a continuation of the crura. The 
cranial nerves, also, take their origin in 
the different vesicles. For a description of the parts of the brain, 
the student is referred to the text-books on physiology. 
following is a list of the most important of them, in relation to 
the primitive vesicles : 

FIG. i 


f Cerebral hemispheres. 
I. Fore-brain \ Corpora striata. 
[ Olfactory bulb. 

, T*^ u^; 
2. Inter-brain 

= 3- Mid-brain 

Optic thalami. 

(primary origin). 

Corpora quadrigemina or optic 
lobes (posterior, i.e. dorsal, 
bodies) . 

Crura cerebri (anterior bodies). 

Optic nerve (secondary origin). 

Nerve-cell and Nerve-fibre 451 

f Cerebellum (dorsal : a double 

4. Hind-brain \ growth like the hemispheres). 
III. THIRD PRI- [ Pons Varolii (ventral). 


5. After-brain j Medulla oblongata. 
* I Auditory nerve. 

The development of the cerebral hemispheres is the change 
especially characteristic of the mammalian brain; and the bend- 
ing of the brain is the mark of the higher vertebrate. The thick- 
ening of the vesicle walls, on the other hand, is quite as noticeable 
in lower forms of animal life. Birds, for instance, in whom the 
thin and undeveloped 'pallium' takes the place of the hemispheres, 
have cerebella and optic lobes far larger, relatively, than those 
of the human brain. 

This will serve as an introductory account, from the standpoint 
of development, of the cerebro-spinal nerve-centres in their super- 
ficial aspect. There are, besides, certain smaller nerve-centres, 
both the so-called sporadic ganglia and more important the 
sympathetic nerve-system connected with the blood-vessels and 
viscera of chest and of abdomen. These, however, maybe passed 
by with mere mention, since their activity is seldom or never 
accompanied by consciousness. Nerve-centres consist of nerve- 
cells, nerve-fibres, connective tissue and blood-vessels. As they 
leave the great nerve-centres, the nerve-fibres are massed together 
into nerve-trunks, but these break up into smaller and smaller 
branches, terminating finally in the end-organs of eye, ear, nose 
and so on, and in the muscles of head, trunk, limbs and inner 
organs. There is thus no part of the human body to which these 
fibres do not radiate from the nerve-centres. 

The nature of these two main forms of nerve- substance must 
now be more closely studied. A nerve-cell is a mass of proto- 
plasm, grayish in color; it contains a nucleus, branches out into 
several processes and is embedded in a connective substance, 
named neuroglia. The nerve-fibres are, as we have seen, the 
elongated processes of nerve-cells; they are of two sorts, non- 
medullated and grayish in color, like the nerve-centres; and 
medullated, that is, enclosed in an albuminous white covering, 
the medullary sheath. The gray, non-medullated fibres are most 
frequent in the centres and in the sympathetic system; the medul- 
lated fibres are found on the outer circumference of the spinal 
cord and, generally speaking, in the interior of the brain. The 
gray and the white matter, though differing in chemical constitu- 
tion, are both significant in containing certain highly unstable 

45 2 Functions of Nerve- sub stance 

phosphorized fats. These bring about the chemically sensitive 
condition of nerve-substance, whose energy is readily yielded 
when the equilibrium of its molecules is disturbed. 

This leads us to a study of the functions of nervous substance. 
Let us recall that the human body is an organized system of 
physiological phenomena, in constant and regular succession. 
This quick succession, or transformation, is perhaps the most 
noticeable feature of the animal body. Constant chemical changes 
are involved in respiration and in nutrition, and innumerable 
muscular changes are facilitated by the anatomical flexibility of 
the human skeleton, with its more than two hundred bones and 
its easily moving pivot and ball-and-socket joints. Now the 
nervous structures of the body form a system, within a system, of 
extraordinarily shifting and rapidly changing phenomena. Not 
only the instability of their chemical constitution, but their dis- 
tribution and arrangement in the body, bring about this result. 
With nerve-fibres radiating from spinal and from cerebral centres, 
some organ of the nervous system is, in the first place, affected by 
every stimulus, external or internal, to any part of the body; and 
on the other hand, every change within the nervous system com- 
municates itself to the other organs. All this may be summed up 
in the statement that the nervous system constitutes the most 
excitable and the most excitory part of the organism. But the 
functions of nerve-centre and fibre may be distinguished from 
each other. The latter serves for the conduction of the ' nerve- 
impulse ' or excitation; the nerve-centre, on the other hand, 
effects the redistribution of impulses. Nerve-fibres are classified 
as (i) afferent, or ingoing, those which convey to the centre the 
impulse communicated by some stimulus and (2) efferent, cr 
outgoing, those which convey a nerve- impulse downward or out- 
ward from a nerve-centre. So, for example, I touch an icy 
surface; the end-organs in the skin of my hand are thermally 
stimulated, and communicate the excitation to an afferent nerve ; 
this conveys the impulse to a spinal centre, where it is redis- 
tributed and communicated to an efferent nerve; and this is con- 
nected with a muscle whose functioning causes the withdrawal of 
my hand. 

We may now describe, in greater detail, the functions of the 
different parts of the cerebro-spinal system. Spine and brain, it 
must be remembered, are made up both of nerve-centres and of 
nerve-fibres, and therefore serve a double purpose, of conduction 
and of redistribution. The spinal cord consists of a grayish 
interior, chiefly composed of nerve-centres, surrounded by an 

Functions of Spinal Cord and of Brain 453 

outer, white part made up of medullated nerve-fibres. These 
nerve-fibres run inward and outward, to and from the muscles and 
surfaces of trunk and limbs, and also upward and downward to and 
from the brain. A large number of these fibres cross, in the lower 
brain, from the right side of the cord to the left side of the brain, 
and vice versa ; and it follows that the stimulation of one side of 
the body affects the cerebral hemisphere of the opposite side. 1 

When an excitation is transmitted by an afferent nerve to the 
spinal cord, it may either be immediately redistributed by the 
spinal nerve-centres to an efferent nerve, 
or it may be transmitted along one of the 
upward fibres to a redistributing centre 
in the brain. This is illustrated by the 
accompanying diagram, in which the lines 
a-b-c and a-x-d-y-c represent respectively 
a given nervous impulse redistributed in 
a spinal centre, and the same impulse 
transmitted to a cerebral centre. It will 
be observed that the stimulus to the in- 
going nerve (ax) and the bodily movement 
excited by the outgoing nerve (yc) are, 
in both cases, the same ; but there are two 
important distinctions between the spinal 
and the cerebral reaction. Obviously, 
the spinal reaction follows more swiftly 
upon the stimulus, and it is, further- 
more, unaccompanied by consciousness. 
This last important fact has been estab- 
lished by the experimental observation 
that unconscious movements of a limb, in response to stimulation 
of the skin, occur after such injury to the spinal cord as prevents 
transmission of excitation to the brain. The spinal cord is thus, 
first, a centre for unconscious reflex movements from cutaneous 
stimulation, and second, a transmitter of excitations to the brain. 

Within the brain itself, we may also distinguish the functions 
of its different parts. For our present purpose, we shall regard 
it as divided into (i) lower brain (medulla, cerebellum, pons 
and crura), (2) interior-brain (the basal nerve-centres enclosed 
within the hemispheres), and (3) the hemispheres themselves. 
Lower brain and interior brain consist of nerve-centres, connected 
among themselves by transverse fibres, and penetrated also by 
upward and downward fibres, connecting them, as the diagram 

FIG. 12. 

Cf. Fig. 13, p. 454. 

454 Functions of Spinal Cord and of Brain 

suggests, with the spinal centres and with the hemispheres. They 
therefore transmit to the hemispheres excitations originated in 
lower portions of the body, and they are also centres for the 
redistribution both of nervous impulses, transmitted by the 
spinal cord, and of excitations conducted to them directly by 
the facial nerves and by the nerves of the special senses. In one 

FlG. 13. Schematic, transverse section of the brain through the Rolandic region. 
S, fissure of Sylvius ; N.C. and N.L., parts of a corpus striatum ; O. T., optic 
thalamus; C, one of the crura; M, medulla oblongata; VII., the facial 

centre of the lower brain (the medulla), there are also automatic 
centres, masses of cells which coordinate excitations from the 
interior of the body and regulate such automatic movements as 
the heart-beat, breathing and sneezing. (The two hemispheres, 
also, are connected with each other by transverse fibres.) 

It is a moot question whether sense-consciousness accompanies 
the functioning of these lower and interior centres. The proba- 

Functions of the Cerebral Hemispheres 455 

bility, 1 however, is that in the case of the lower vertebrates, with 
less developed hemispheres, the excitation of lower and of interior 
brain is accompanied by consciousness, and that, on the contrary, 
excitation of the hemispheres is necessary to human conscious- 
ness. It is certain that excitation of the hemispheres is the 
essential cerebral condition of memory and of foresight. The 
bodily movements characteristic of cerebral activity are, there- 
fore, no longer the unconscious 
reflexes of the spinal cord nor 
even acts of which one has a bare 
sense-perception; they are delib- 
erative acts performed with a mem- 
ory of past results and an image of 
future happenings. It follows that 
the response to a particular stimu- 
lation is not, as in the case of a 
spinal reflex, inevitable and deter- 
mined. We may illustrate this by 
a modification of our former ex- 
ample. The unconscious spinal 
reflex following upon the touch 
of a hot surface is the withdrawal 
of the hand. Suppose, however, 
that the stimulus conducted by the 
afferent nerve (a-b} is transmitted 
to the hemispheres instead of 
being at once redistributed in the 
spinal centres. The centre (d), 
corresponding with the sensation 
of warmth, is first stimulated, but 
the impulse is at once transmitted 
to other brain-centres (x and y) 
and the total hemisphere excita- 
tion is accompanied by the conscious reflection that a hot appli- 
cation will cure neuralgiac pain. The efferent nerve (e-f), which 
is finally stimulated, in turn excites a muscle whose contraction 
checks the instinctive movement away from the hot surface. 
Thus the motor response (e-f-g}, to the excitation transmitted to 
the hemispheres, is a firmer grasp of the heated object, whereas 
the instinctive spinal reflex (a-b-c) would consist, as we have 
seen, in the withdrawal of the hand. The following table sum- 
marizes these distinctions of bodily activity and consciousness, 
as associated with different nerve-centres : 

FIG. 14. 

1 H. Donaldson, American Journal of Psychology, Vol. IV, 

45 6 Functions of Spinal Cord and of Brain 




Spinal cord. 

f Conduction, 
[ Redistribution. 


No conscious- 

Lower brain. 

[ Conduction, 
\ Redistribution. 


No conscious- 

Interior brain. 

f Conduction, 
\ Redistribution. 


ness (?) 

Cerebral hemi- 



f Perception, 
\ Memory, 
[ Thought, etc. 

It is possible to study, in even greater detail, the relation of 
the excitation of the hemisphere to different functions of con- 
sciousness. For this purpose, it is necessary to gain a clearer 
notion of the conformation of the hemispheres. It has been 
shown already that the immense expansion of each hemisphere 

FIG. 15. Outer Surface of the Right Hemisphere. 

results in a folding of its surface in upon itself. Each hemi- 
sphere thus consists of an irregular mass of folds, the convolu- 
tions, separated by deep gullies, the fissures. The most important 
of these appear very early in the growth of each embryonic 
hemisphere, on its outer surface. They are the fissure of Sylvius, 
which starts from a point below and in front of the middle of each 

Conformation of the Cerebral Hemispheres 457 

hemisphere (cf. Figure 15), and runs backward, curving upward 
at its termination; and the fissure of Rolando, which runs down- 
ward and forward, from the median, upper part of each hemi- 
sphere (cf. Figure 15) to a point near to that where the fissure of 
Sylvius begins. These fissures and others form the basis of the 
ordinary division of the hemisphere into five areas, or lobes. 
Roughly speaking, the frontal lobe lies forward of the fissure of 
Rolando and above the fissure of Sylvius; the parietal lobe lies 
back of the frontal, and also above the fissure of Sylvius; the 
occipital lobe lies behind the parietal, and is separated from it 
by a fissure which appears most definitely on the median side of 
the hemisphere; and the temporal lobe lies below the fissure of 

F. 'Rolando 
1 A 


FIG. 16. Median Surface of the Right Hemisphere. 

Sylvius and forward of the occipital lobe. (The fifth lobe, the 
'island of Reil,' is folded in within the temporal and the parietal 
lobes, and is not represented in the diagram.) On the median 
surface of the hemisphere (cf. Figure 16), it is important to dis- 
tinguish, first, the triangular area of the occipital lobe, called 
from its wedge shape the cuneus ; second, the convolution along 
the upper edge, called 'marginal'; and finally, the curving 
convolution, called the uncitiate (or hippocampus}. 

The study of brain areas is important to the psychologist only 
for the following reason: investigation has shown that the excita- 
tion of certain parts of the brain is accompanied by definite forms 
of sense-consciousness and of bodily movement. There is much 
dispute, among the anatomists, about special features of cere- 


Cerebral Localization 

bral localization, but the following results may be accepted as 
practically assured: 

The excitation of the occipital lobe, especially of that portion 
of its median surface known as the cuneus (cf. Figure 16), is the 
cerebral 'centre ' of the visual perception of the different colors 
and shades, and is the centre, also, of movements of the eye- 
muscles. 1 Nerve-fibres connect the right halves of both retinse 
with this visual centre in the right hemisphere, and the left 
halves of both retinae with the left visual centre. 

The area forward and back of the fissure of Rolando is the 
so-called 'centre ' of cutaneous sensation and of general bodily 
movements. The excitation of the lower part of it is accom- 


panied by the perception of contact with the skin of head and 
face, and by movements of the head; the excitation of the next 
higher portion conditions the skin-sensations and the movement 
of the arms, and so on, so that the very highest part of the 
Rolandic area is the cerebral 'centre ' both of the skin-sensations 
and of the movements of the feet. 

The centre of hearing is the first temporal convolution; the 
smell-centre and, possibly, the taste-centre are in the uncinate 
convolution of the median temporal lobe (cf. Figure 16). These 
are centres also for movements of ear, nostrils and tongue. The 
following summary of the sensory centres in the hemispheres 
combines these results : 

1 Cf. Donaldson, American Journal of Psychology, Vol. IV., p. 121 ; Flech- 
sig, "G&hirn und Seek," 2d edition, 1896, p. 77. 

Cerebral Localization 459 


Occipital lobe. Of vision. Of eye-muscles. 

Area about fissure Of cutaneous and of f j 163 ^ 

of Rolando. < motor' sensations. *T"> 

I limbs. 

f hearing, \ ear, 

Temporal lobe. Of \ smell, Of -j nostrils, 

I taste? [tongue? 

It will be observed that this enumeration leaves large areas of 
the hemispheres without assigned function. The recent researches 
of a German physiologist, Paul Flechsig, have made it very prob- 
able that these areas are the centres of unsensational experiences, 
the consciousness of pleasantness and unpleasantness, of similarity 
and difference, of familiarity and of connection. The 'association- 
centres, ' as Flechsig calls them, 1 are included in the unnamed 
parts of Figure 17. They are distinguished, anatomically, from 
the sense-centres of the hemispheres, because they are not directly 
connected, by afferent and efferent nerves, with any end-organs 
on the surface of the body. On the contrary, they are connected 
by transverse fibres with the sense-centres, and are only indirectly 
stimulated by the excitation of these sense-centres. Flechsig has 
also distinguished 'intermediate ' centres between the other two. 2 


There are three methods of this study of cerebral localization : 
the experimental, the pathological and the embryological methods. 
The first of these proceeds upon two lines. A given area of the 
brain of an animal is artificially stimulated, by electricity, for 
example, the resulting bodily movements are watched, and the 
accompanying consciousness is inferred. Or, the particular brain- 
area is extirpated and the resulting loss of function is carefully 
studied. For example, a dog's Rolandic region is removed, and 
the discovery is made that he does not draw back his paw if one 
pinches it, and that he leaves it unconcernedly in boiling water. 

The experimental method, of course, encounters the objection 
that the functioning of the animal brain may not correspond 
exactly with that of the human brain. This difficulty is avoided 
by the pathological method, the careful study, after death, of the 
brains of patients who have suffered from diseases affecting con- 
sciousness. The discovery, for example, of injury to the left 

1 "Gehirn und Seele," pp. 24, 78. 2 Neurolog. Ccntralblatt, Nov., 1898. 

460 Weight and Circumference of the Brain 

occipital lobe, of persons who have lost the left half of their 
field of vision, has contributed to the knowledge of the relation 
of that part of the brain to visual consciousness. 

The embryological method, finally, employed with great effi- 
ciency by Flechsig, studies the human brain at various stages preced- 
ing its complete development, distinguishing the periods at which 
one sense-centre after another, and, latest of all, the association- 
centres and the transverse fibres, reach their complete development. 

In conclusion, the student should be reminded that any defi- 
nite explanation of individual psychical characteristics, by dis- 
coverable peculiarities of the brain, has, up to this time, eluded 
every investigator. The weight of the brain, for example, has 
seemed to some anatomists an indication of intellect, but though 
the brain of Cuvier weighed 1830 gr., that of Gambetta weighed 
only 1294 gr., and that of Liebig 1352 gr., as compared with an 
average of 1340; and the heaviest brain on record belonged to a 
perfectly commonplace individual. Between circumference of 
brain and strength of intellect there is also no observable connec- 
tion. The most recent and most accurate examinations of par- 
ticular brains confirm this general conclusion; to the surprise of 
everybody, for example, the accurate microscopic examination 
of Laura Bridgman's brain disclosed no describable defects in the 
visual areas; and Dr. Hansemann, 1 who has recently examined 
the brain of the great scientist Helmholtz, observes that it is not 
extraordinarily developed. 

The basal conclusions which emerge for the psychologist, from 
all this study of the nervous system, are, therefore, the following : 
every fact of consciousness, every percept, image, thought, emo- 
tion or volition is first necessarily related to a neural phenome- 
non, that is, to some functioning of the nervous system, and is, 
therefore, second, accompanied by some other bodily change or 
changes, mechanical, chemical or thermal; and these changes 
may be either conscious or unconscious. 



The study of aphasia is important to physiologist and to psy- 
chologist alike. Defects in the word-consciousness are detected 
and analyzed with relative ease, and the discovery of the cor- 
responding areas of brain injury has made it possible to suggest 
the special centres whose excitation conditions visual, auditory 
or tactile-motor consciousness. On the other hand, the study of 

1 Hansemann, Zeitschrift, 1899, Vol XX. 

Aphasia 46 1 

the brain conditions has stimulated and verified the psychologi- 
cal analysis of the word-consciousness. 

Aphasia is the general name for diseased conditions of the 
brain, which affect the patient's consciousness of words. In 
sensory aphasia, the subject's hearing or reading of words is 
affected; in motor aphasia, he is unable to speak or to write. 
In either case, he may or may not know the meaning of words. 
The patient's speech, for example, may be unaffected, and he 
may read perfectly, yet spoken words may seem to him like mere 
inarticulate sounds; or he may hear words and even understand 
them, he may speak and write, and he may yet be unable to read 
printed and written words, even those which he himself has 
written. These forms of sensory aphasia are named word-deaf- 
ness and alexia respectively. Motor aphasia, also, has two main 
forms, inability to speak and to write. The latter is called agra- 
phia, and the former is rather ambiguously named pure motor 
aphasia. In agraphia, the patient reads and speaks understand- 
ingly; he can even read what he himself has earlier written, but 
he cannot write. In pure motor aphasia, a man understands 
what is said to him, reads printed and written words, and can 
even write, but his speech is more or less seriously disturbed. 
He can laugh, cry and sing; but either he misuses words, one in 
place of another, or he has no words at all, or he speaks inco- 
herently, in what has been called a broth of unintelligible sylla- 
bles. He may recognize his mistakes and be tormented by them, 
but he cannot avoid them. Sometimes it happens that the in- 
ability to speak affects only objects of a certain sense-class. For 
example, a man may be able to name the visual and tactile quali- 
ties of an object, but unable to name sounds of any kind; or he 
may be able to name colors and sounds but not tactile qualities: 
pure motor aphasia is known as acoustic, tactile or optical, 
according as it affects one class of sensations or another. 

All these cases of merely sensory and motor word-disturbance 
must be contrasted, finally, with the most serious form of aphasia : 
the inability to understand words, or mental blindness (Seelen- 
blindheit}, as it is named from one form of it. In this case, the 
patient hears the word as a word and repeats it, but does not 
know its meaning; he reads 'aloud and writes, but does not 
understand what he reads and writes because his verbal images 
do not suggest the concrete images which make up what we call 
the meaning of the word. 

It must be remembered that aphasia is due to cerebral disease, 
not to any injury of end-organs or of muscular apparatus. In 

462 Aphasia 

word-deafness, or auditory sense aphasia, for instance, the patient 
is not deaf : he hears as distinctly as ever he did, and he even 
hears the words that are spoken to him, only he hears them not 
as words, conventional expressions of some meaning, under- 
stood or not, but as mere sounds. A spoken sentence seems to 
him a mere succession of mixed tones and noises. And pure 
motor aphasia, the inability to speak, occurs without loss of voice 
or paralysis of lip or of tongue. 

We must therefore ask for the cerebral conditions of the dif- 
ferent forms of aphasia. These have been discovered, by the 
study of the brains of aphasic patients, after their death, and 
certain definite conclusions have been reached by such study. 
Neurologists agree, in the first place, that disturbances of speech 
are conditioned by diseased states of the left side of the brain 
in left-handed people, of the right side. The conditions of 
aphasia are, however, known in more detail. Broca found, in 
1 86 1, that injury to the third or lowest frontal convolution (the 
area marked 'speech' on the diagram of page 458) accompanies 
pure motor aphasia, that is, the inability to speak. Some years 
later, another neurologist, Wernicke, discovered that injury to 
the first and second temporal convolution accompanied cases 
of word-deafness. These discoveries, substantiated by many 
students of aphasia, have constituted an important argument 
for the localization of hearing-centres and tactile-motor cen- 
tres, in the temporal lobe and the lower Rolandic area respec- 

The specific areas for the two diseases concerned with written 
language, alexia and agraphia, are in the throat and the hand 
areas of the Rolandic region. It has, furthermore, been abun- 
dantly 1 established that word-blindness, or the loss of the mean- 
ing of words, is due, not to the derangement of articulatory or 
word-hearing centre, but rather to the loss of connection between 
such word-centres and the visual, auditory or tactile centres of 
concrete images. The man who is unable to tell the meaning of 
the word 'brush ' though he writes and articulates the word and 
rightly uses the object no longer associates the motor or visual 
image of the act of brushing, with the sight of the word. This 
absence of the habitual association may be due either to the 
injury of visual or motor centres, or to injury of the fibres con- 
necting word-centre with other centre. Normally, the articu- 
lation-centre is closely connected with the brain-centres for 
concrete imagery; but sometimes the connection is utterly 
broken, and again it is curiously altered. Dr. Sommer, for 

1 Cf. Flechsig, " Gehirn und Seele," pp. 44 seg. ; James, Vol. I., pp. 54 seq. 

Aphasia 463 

example, tells the story 1 of a patient tested for pure motor 
aphasia, who seemed to recover from his inability to name 
objects, in an inexplicably short time. Objects which, a few 
hours before, he had been unable to name, he now identified 
with only a slight hesitation. This surprising facility was, how- 
ever, explained by the discovery that the man was tracing the 
names of the objects, with his finger tip, on some convenient 
surface. His hands were then held, but he was detected tracing 
the names, with the toe of his boot, on the ground; his feet were 
secured, and a facial contortion betrayed that he was writing the 
words, with the tip of his tongue, on the roof of his mouth. The 
sight of an object evidently no longer suggested the appropriate 
throat-sensation and motions, but did suggest the act of writing, 
that is to say, the cerebral connection was broken between brain- 
centre for the concrete visual image of an object and brain- 
centre for the visual word-image, whereas the connection between 
concrete image centre and writing centre was unimpaired. 

It is evident, from our former study of the diversity in people's 
imagination-types, that verbal images and percepts differ with 
different persons. For almost everybody, however, the verbal 
image includes at least two parts : the sound of the word as heard, 
and the consciousness of articulating the word. Even when we 
merely listen and do not actually speak aloud, there is for most 
of us a slight excitation of the sense-cells in the articulation- 
centre. This shows the importance of the Broca and Wernicke 
centres, and it indicates also that the Broca centre in the lower 
frontal convolution is not merely a motor centre, in other words, 
that it is not concerned merely in the use of speech, but that it 
is a sense-centre as well, excited during the word-consciousness 
of persons of the tactile-motor image-type. But language, by an 
educated person, is read and written as well as spoken and heard. 
The word-sound often, therefore, suggests the image of the written 
or printed word, and it may suggest the movement of writing. 
The complete percept of a spoken word must, thus, include 
fused elements of sound and articulation (through actual, periph- 
eral excitation of ear and pharynx) and assimilated elements, 
both visual and tactual, through the imaged appearance of the 
word and the imagined act of writing it; and of course this 
means that, not merely the Wernicke auditory word-centre in 
the temporal lobe, but visual and tactile areas are excited, in the 
complete consciousness of a word as word, irrespective of any 
consciousness of its meaning. 2 

1 Zeitschrift fur Physiologie und Psychologic ', II., 1891, p. 143. 
a Cf. Flechsig, op. '/., p. 46. 

464 Sensational Elements of Color 





THE outline of color-theories, as given in the second chapter 
of this book, must be greatly amplified, if it is to be at all com- 
mensurate with the sweep of modern discussions and investiga- 
tions. The earliest of the hypotheses which are at present upheld 
is that of Thomas Young and Hermann von Helmholtz. This 
theory teaches, as we know, that there are three elemental colors, 
red, green and violet, and that colorless light sensations are 
always occasioned by the mixture of colored lights. 1 The con- 
clusive objections to this theory are, as has been noted, the dis- 
tinctness of yellow as an elemental experience and the occurrence 
of colorless light consciousness without mixture of stimuli. The 
Hering theory of antagonistic color-processes, assimilative and 
dissimilative, meets these objections, but runs upon other diffi- 
culties. These difficulties must be carefully considered, since 
they form a starting-point for the study of other theories. They 
are, in the main, the following: 2 (i) It is highly improbable that 
an assimilative bodily process should condition consciousness. 
(2) It is inconsistent to suppose that the simultaneous occurrence 
of opposite color-processes balance each other, and result in an 
absence of color-consciousness, whereas the opposite processes of 
the black-white substance, if excited together, occasion the con- 
sciousness of gray. (3) As a matter of fact, a mixture of red and 
green lights does not, as Hering implies, occasion colorless 
light sensation. On the contrary, the color-stimulus which, mixed 
with red light, produces a colorless light sensation, is blue-green. 
This shows that the red and green which are psychically elemental 
are not physiologically antagonistic. 

An answer to certain of these objections is found in Professor 
G. E. Miiller's recent modification of the Hering theory. 3 Miiller 
replaces the conception of assimilation and dissimilation by a 
hypothesis of reversible chemical action, which meets the first of 

1 " Handbuch der Physiologischen Optik," 2 te Aufl., 1896, 19, 20, pp. 
275 seq., 316 seq. This is the most reasonable statement of the theory. But 
Helmholtz upholds it in a far more indefensible way, teaching that a mixture 
of color sensations gives the sensation of colorless light {op. cit., p. 550). This 
is introspectively untrue. 2 Cf. p. 39. 

8 Ztsch. /. Psych, u. Physiol. d. Sinnesorgane, 1896 and 1897, x - and XIV., 
esp. 7, 1 8, 33, 36. Cf. C. L. Franklin, Psychological Review, Vol. VI., p. 70. 

The Muller Theory 465 

the objections to the Hering theory. To avoid the second of 
these difficulties, the occurrence of colorless light sensation when 
the black and white retinal processes are in equilibrium, Muller 
refers these sensations of gray to a black-white excitation con- 
stantly going on in the visual brain-centre. This second hypothe- 
sis, it will be noted, is logically valid, but it is purely imaginary, 
and it deprives the color-theory of the supposed advantage of 
explaining colorless light in the same way in which colors are 
explained. The third objection to the Hering hypothesis is not 
met by Muller; and this, in itself, constitutes a reason for aban- 
doning the hypothesis of antagonistic color-processes. It should 
be added that Muller' s introspective analysis of the four color- 
quality series, red to yellow, yellow to green, green to blue, and 
blue to red, is a valuable argument for the theory that there are 
four color-elements. 

Another modification of the Hering theory, earlier than that of 
Muller, must be mentioned. This is the hypothesis of Ebbing- 
haus, 1 who substitutes, for the Hering conception of assimilative 
and dissimilative processes, a conception of progressive and 
antagonistic stages of decomposition of three visual substances. 
In particular, Ebbinghaus makes the following suppositions: 
(i) The rod-pigment, called ' visual purple,' by its first stage of 
decomposition occasions sensations of yellow. In its second 
phase, this substance is yellow, not purple, and its decomposition 
conditions sensations of blue. (2) There is a second, an objec- 
tively red-green substance, present in the cones, and the first and 
second processes of its decomposition occasion the colors of green 
and red; it has never been observed because, in its green phase, 
it is complementary to the visual purple. (3) A third, invisible 
substance occasions sensations of white and black, by its progres- 
sive decomposition. This theory, however, cannot hold out 
against the following entirely decisive objections: The different 
stages of decomposition are, in the first place, successive, and 
they therefore do not explain any phenomena due to the mixture 
of lights. Furthermore, there is no support for Ebbinghaus' s 
conjectures about the objective color of visual substances. It 
is, for example, highly improbable that in every retina so far 
examined, precisely the antagonistic green and purple phases of 
the visual substances should have been present. 2 

1 "Theorie des Farbensehens," Ztsch. f. Psych, u. Physiol d. Sinnesorganc, 
1893. I n h* s textbook on psychology, 1897, Ebbinghaus does not bring for- 
ward this theory. 

2 Cf. C. L. Franklin, Mind, N. S., Vol. II., p. 473; Cattell, Psychological 
Review, Vol. I., p. 325. 

466 The Ebbinghaus Theory 

From the study of this group of Hering-like theories, we turn, 
therefore, to the discussion of certain theories of another type. 
Hering, Miiller and Ebbinghaus suppose that the physiological 
conditions of colorless light sensations must be closely analogous 
to those of the color-sensations. Wundt, von Kries, Konig and 
Christine Ladd Franklin, on the contrary, teach that the two 
experiences are due to different conditions. The theory of 
Wundt 1 is simplest and most unelaborated of the four which 
will be outlined. His doctrine includes the following features : 
(i) The consciousness of color is due to a photochemical process, 
called a 'chromatic ' retinal process, which varies with the length 
of the ether- waves falling on the retina. (Wundt' s assumption 
of more than four elementary colors is not an essential feature of 
his theory.) (2) The sensational elements of white and gray 
which, according to Wundt, are identical with brightness are 
due to an 'achromatic' retinal process of chemical decomposi- 
tion, which varies with the amplitude of the ether-waves. 
(3) The consciousness of black or of 'dark' is due to a third, 
constant retinal process, and occurs, therefore, without external 
stimulus, and when opposite ether-wave vibrations cancel each 
other. This last hypothesis would readily account for the fact, 
so difficult of explanation on Bering's theory, that a mixture of 
black and white stimuli do not destroy each other. Wundt also 
avoids the other difficulties attendant on Hering' s theory, but 
he accomplishes this, in great part at least, by his own indefinite- 
ness. He does not, for example, attempt a description of his 
achromatic and chromatic processes. 

The theories of Konig, von Kries and Franklin agree in the 
affirmation that the retinal rods have to do with the conditioning 
of colorless light sensations. Several of the arguments which 
conclusively show the correctness of this view have already been 
enumerated. 2 These arguments may now be restated and ampli- 
fied, (i) The periphery of the retina, whose excitation gives 
only colorless light, contains rods, well provided with visual 
purple, and no cones. (2) The retinae of night-seeing animals 
are rich in rods. 8 (3) The visual purple absorbs most readily 
just that color, green, which is intensest in faint light. 4 (4) Two 

1 "Phys. Psych.," I., 536; Phil. Stud., IV., 1887; "Lectures," VI., 103. 

8 Chapter II., p. 40. 

8 This observation was made in 1866 by Max Schultze, who drew the infer- 
ence that the rods are concerned in faint-light vision. 

4 This discovery was made in 1894 by Professor Arthur Konig, and Frl. 
Else Kottgen, through the investigation of an extracted human retina. Cf. 
Sitzungsberichte d. Akad. d. Wissensch. zu Berlin, Juni, 1894. 

The Wundt Theory 467 

mixtures, one of red and blue-green lights and a second of blue 
and yellow lights, which form grays of precisely similar intensity 
when looked at by an eye adapted to the light, form grays which 
differ widely in intensity to an eye adapted to the darkness. 1 
This fact is inexplicable on a Hering-Miiller hypothesis, for if 
the colorless light sensation, which follows mixtures of color- 
stimuli, were due to the activity of a black- white substance, then 
the sensation would not vary with the composition of the complex 
color-stimulus : a gray, due to the mixture of red and green, could 
not change, with the adaptation of the eye, in any other way than 
the gray due to mixture of blue and yellow, for the retinal condi- 
tion of the one would be exactly that of the other activity of 
white-black substance. The fact accords well, on the other hand, 
with the theory that rod activity has to do with colorless light 
sensations, for the visual purple on the rods is renewed in the eye 
rested by the darkness, but is bleached out in the light. There- 
fore, the eye adapted to the dark absorbs more green rays than the 
eye adapted to the light; and grays, due to mixture of 'colors' 
which seemed alike in a bright light, will have different intensi- 
ties when the rod-pigment, renewed by the darkness, more readily 
absorbs the green of the red-green mixture. 2 

From this consideration of the arguments, which support any 
one of the theories of rod-excitation as condition of colorless 
light sensation, we must go on to a separate study of each of these 
different theories, beginning with that of Mrs. C. L. Franklin, 
already adopted as the most probable of the hypotheses so far 
advanced. 8 The Franklin theory, in its latest form, 4 lays stress 
on the following points: (i) Sensational elements of white or 
gray are due to the complete decomposition of the molecules of 
a photochemical retinal substance. This substance is found 
both on the rods and on the cones. On the rods, it exists in an 
undifferentiated condition, so that it "goes to pieces all at once 
under the influence of light of any kind"; 5 on the cones, it has 

1 This fact was established by C. L. Franklin and by Ebbinghaus. Cf. 
"Nature," Vol. 48, p. 517; "Theorie des Farbensehens," Separat-Abdruck 
aus Ztsch. f. Psych, u. Physiol. d. Sinnesorgane, 1893, P- 2 7- 

2 Cf. C. L. Franklin, "The Extended Purkinje Phenomenon," Psychological 
Re-view, Vol. V., p. 309. 

3 Cf. Chapter II., p. 40. 

4 Mullet's "Theory of the Light Sense," Psychological Review, Vol. VI., 
p. 84. 

6 C. L. Franklin, " The Functions of the Rods of the Retina," Psychological 
Review, Vol. III., pp. 71 seq. For more detailed, but older, statement of the 
theory, cf. Mind, 1893. 

468 The Franklin Theory 

been modified so that its decomposition occurs in two, or in four, 
stages. But the complete decomposition of the molecules of 
this substance, whether in the rods or in the cones, excites sensa- 
tions of white or gray. (2) A sensational element of color is 
occasioned by one stage in the partial decomposition of the dif- 
ferentiated molecules of the photochemical substance in the 
cones. These differentiated molecules consist, in this second 
stage of development, "of two distinct parts, one fitted to be 
shaken to pieces by light from the warm end of the spectrum [the 
yellow-producing] and the other by light from the cold end of 
the spectrum [the blue-producing]; ... in a third state of 
development the yellow-producing constituent is in its turn broken 
up into two parts of such different internal vibration periods that 
they respond respectively to the red light and the green light of 
the spectrum." 1 (3) The rod-pigment, or visual purple, is "not 
the substance whose chemical decomposition affects the optical 
nerve-ends," 2 but is a substance which acts "by absorbing (for 
the purpose of reenforcing faint light vision) a large amount of 
the light which usually passes entirely through the transparent 
rods and cones." 8 (4) The sensational element black "is ac- 
counted for ... as the effect on the nerve-ends of the resting 
condition of the photochemical substance; it is therefore the 
antithesis to every color as well as to white." 4 

The proofs in favor of this hypothesis have now to be consid- 
ered. The features which chiefly distinguish the theory from 
other rod-excitation theories are the following: (i) The hypothesis 
of one photochemical substance, both in rods and in cones, com- 
posed, on the rods, of undifferentiated molecules (which may be 
decomposed by ether-waves of any and all lengths) and, on the 
cones, of molecules so differentiated that distinct parts of them 
have 'different vibration periods.' (2) The conception of the 
rod-pigment as a reenforcing agent. (3) The conception of black 
as qualitatively distinct from white and gray, and as differently 
occasioned. In favor of the first of these hypotheses, the follow- 
ing considerations may be urged: It is (a ) in accordance with 
physical and chemical conceptions. 5 It is (b) furthermore in 
close harmony with recent histological investigations. The 
Spanish neurologist, Ramon y Cajal, and others have shown that 

1 C. L. Franklin, op. cit., Psychological Review, Vol. VI., p. 84. 

2 Op. cit., Psychological Review, Vol. V., p. 332. 
8 Ibid., Vol. VI., p. 80. 

* "Color-Sensation Theory," Psychological Review, Vol. I., p. 171. 
5 Cf. C. L. Franklin, op. cit., Psychological Rtvicw, Vol. III., p. 72 and 
Psychological Revie^v, Vol. VI., p. 84. 

The Franklin Theory 469 

the retinal cones are really rods in a high stage of development/ 
"The fact is very much to the favor of those theories . . . which 
regard the color function of the cones as a developed form of the 
rod function." This feature of the Franklin theory has (c) a great 
advantage over the von Kries and Konig theories, which are later 
to be outlined, in that it offers an essentially identical explana- 
tion for all colorless light sensations, whether excited peripher- 
ally or in some other way. This advantage will be accentuated 
further on. 

For the Franklin theory of the reenforcing function of the rod- 
pigment, the following arguments are offered: (a) It cannot be 
supposed that the functioning of the rod-pigment is essential to 
sensational elements of color or of colorless light, because we see 
white and grays, as well as all colors, in light so brilliant that it 
destroys the rod-pigment, (b) The greater intensity, in faint 
light, of the green rays which are most readily absorbed by the 
purplish rod-pigment, and the brightening, in faint light, of gray, 
due to mixture of red and green lights, are facts which are very 
readily explained by this conception of the rod-pigment as a sub- 
stance which reenforces faint-light vision, (c) According to this 
hypothesis, the purplish color of the rod-pigment is highly sig- 
nificant, for " it is adapted to aiding vision in the gloomy depths 
of the forest, because green light is the light which it absorbs"; 
and, of course, primitive animal life is mainly passed in the 
forest. 2 

The Franklin hypothesis concerning black need not here be 
considered, for it is independent of other parts of the theory, and 
is mainly based on introspective grounds. 8 It will be well, how- 
ever, to compare the theory as a whole with other theories of 
color and colorless light. 

Like all theories which explain colorless light sensations by the 
functioning of a substance in the rods, this hypothesis (i) explains, 
as the Helmholtz theory cannot, the occurrence of white and 
gray without mixture of lights; it advances upon the antagonistic 
color-theories of Hering, Miiller and Ebbinghaus, by providing 
(2) an explanation of the fact that grays, due to different mixtures, 
which are exactly similar, become dissimilar in changing illu- 
mination; and (3) by accounting for the fact that blue-green, not 
green, is 'complementary' to red; it is furthermore (4) a more 
definite hypothesis than that of Wundt. 

1 Ramon y CajaPs Neuere Beitrage, Ztsch. f. Psych, u. Physiol. d. Sinnes- 
organe, Vol. XVI., 1898, p. 161. Cf. C. L. Franklin, Psychological Review, 
Vol. VI., pp. 212 and 85. 

2 Op. cit., Psychological Review, Vol. VI., p. 80. 8 Cf. Chapter II., p. 301 

470 The Von Kries Theory 

We have next, therefore, to compare the Franklin theory with 
the two remaining rod-excitation theories. Of these, the hypothe- 
sis of Professor J. von Kries is the simplest. Von Kries teaches l 
(i) that color-sensations are due to the activity of retinal cones, 
and (2) that sensational elements of colorless light are due to one 
of two distinct retinal conditions, either to the functioning of 
retinal cones or to the combination of three different retinal 
processes connected with the cones. It is evident that the von 
Kries theory differs from that of Mrs. Franklin in two main par- 
ticulars: it is, in the first place, more indefinite, since it does 
not attempt to describe the activity of either rods or cones. In 
this respect the Franklin theory, since its hypotheses are reason- 
able, distinctly advances on that of von Kries. More positively, 
in the second place, von Kries differs from Mrs. Franklin in 
insisting that rods and cones are utterly different in function. 
His chief argument is the fact that colorless light sensations, 
through peripheral excitation, are differently conditioned from 
faint-light vision or color-blind vision. 2 This is indeed proved, 
"since the relative brightness of the spectrum, throughout its 
length, is not the same in the two cases "; 8 but the phenomenon 
is readily explained in accordance with the Franklin theory, for 
the periphery in bright light lacks the rod-pigment, whereas this 
rod-pigment is built up in the retina during faint illumination, 
and is probably present in great degree in color-blind eyes. The 
discovery that this phenomenon does not tell in favor of von 
Kries leaves his theory encumbered with a tremendous burden: 
the improbability that peripheral gray and faint light gray, which 
appear to everybody exactly similar, should be due to utterly dis- 
tinct retinal conditions. This objection von Kries has never 
satisfactorily answered. 

The theory of Professor Arthur Konig is far more complicated. 
It agrees with that of von Kries, in that it attributes the color- 
less light consciousness to two retinal processes, but it involves, 
as will be shown, an entirely new consideration. Konig teaches 
first, that the consciousness of colorless light is due either to the 
weak decomposition of the rod-pigment in its purplish stage, or 
to the combined decomposition of the retinal substances; second, 
that the consciousness of blue is occasioned by the decomposi- 
tion of the rod-pigment in its second or yellow stage (the visual 
yellow) ; and finally, that the other forms of color-sensations are 

1 Ztsch. f. Psych, u. PhysioL d. Sinnesorgane, Vol. IX., p. 82, Vol. XV., 
p. 247; " Abhandlungen," Leipzig, 1897. 
' 2 Z/ ,^ M Vol. XV. 

8 C. L. Franklin, Psychological Review, Vol. V., p. 330. 

The K'onig Theory 471 

due to the decomposition of other retinal substances, as yet 
undiscovered, which are in the pigment layer not in the rod 
and cone layer of the retina. The theory that the conscious- 
ness of white and gray, in ordinary foveal vision, in faint light 
and in color-blindness has another retinal condition than that of 
peripherally excited sensations of colorless light, is evidently 
opposed by the grave objection which confronts the von Kries 
theory: the improbability that sensations subjectively alike should 
have widely different conditions. 1 The distinctive features of 
the theory are, however, the following: (i) the statement that the 
sensational element of blue is occasioned by the strong decompo- 
sition of the rod-pigment; (2) the theory that there are color- 
substances in the pigment layer of the retina. In proof of the 
first point, Konig adduces his experimental discovery that the 
fovea, which contains few rods or none, is blue-blind. His argu- 
ment for the second hypothesis is an experiment performed by 
himself and Dr. Zumft: 2 two shadows of a blood-vessel were 
thrown, by different colored lights, upon the retina; the distance 
between the shadows was measured, and thus the distance of the 
blood-vessel from the excited layer of the retina was calculated; 
this distance was found to vary with the colors of the light, to 
be greater for red than for blue, and to be greater than the depth 
of the rod and cone layer. Konig concludes, as has been said, 
that the retinal processes which condition red, yellow and prob- 
ably green, must lie behind the rod and cone layer, in the pigment 

In spite of the ingenuity of these arguments, Konig does not 
seem, to the writer of this book, to prove his points. The objec- 
tions urged against both parts of the theory are decisive. The 
explanation of blue as due to the functioning of the 'visual yellow, ' 
is opposed by the fact that one often sees blue in light strong 
enough to bleach out the rod-pigment in this yellow stage. 8 
Konig bases this hypothesis on the alleged blue-blindness of the 
fovea; but this blue-blindness has been disputed, 4 and, in any 
case, could be otherwise explained. Against the second hypothe- 
sis of the theory, the following objections may be urged: 5 
(a) "It proves too much," for the depth of the rod and cone 

1 Cf. E. Hering, Pfluger's Archiv, Vol. LIX., p. 412. 

2 Uber die lichtempfindliche Schicht in der Netzhaut des menschlichen 
Auges, Sitzungsberichte d. Akad. d. Wissensch. zu Berlin, 1894. 

8 C. L. Franklin, Psychological Review, Vol. II., p. 146. 
4 Hering, op. cit., p. 403. 

6 C. L. Franklin, op. cit. Cf. Gad, " Der Energium-Satz in der Retina," 
Separat-Abzug aus Arch, f. Anat. u. Physiol., 1894. 

472 Summary of Theories 

layer and pigment layer together are not equal to the calculated 
difference between the retinal shadows, (b) The explanation of 
color-sensations as due to the excitation either of rod-pigment or 
of substances in the pigment layer, makes it necessary to assign 
a new role to the retinal cones. Konig supposes them to be 
lenses for concentrating light on the pigment layer cells. But 
this leaves unexplained the nerve conduction from the fovea, 
and it also distinguishes too sharply between the rods and cones, 
which, as we know, are anatomically very similar. It should be 
added, however, that the results of Konig' s shadow-experiment 
have neither been repeated nor disputed; and that his account 
of these results, though justly criticised, has not been replaced 
by another explanation. 

This discussion of modern color-theories may be concluded 
by a rough outline and classification of their most prominent 



Three elemental colors: red, green, Introspection discloses four ele- 

violet. mental colors. 

Colorless light sensations only No explanation for : 

through mixture of color- peripheral, ] , , ,. , 

stimuli faint light, colorless light 

Colorless light sensations 'com- color-blind, J 

pounds ' of color-sensations. Introspectively untrue. 



Four elemental colors : red, green, 

blue, yellow. 
Two pair of antagonistic color- The mixture of red and green lights 

processes : red-green and blue- does not produce colorless light 

yellow. sensations. 

Colorless light sensations through 

activity of a white-black sub- 
stance, or through cerebral ex- [See text.] 

citation, when color-processes 

have neutralized each other. 

Summary of Theories 473 


(a) Theories of von Kries and Konig 


Four color-elements, due to cone- 

excitation (von Kries) ; or to 

decomposition of visual-yellow, [See text.] 

and pigment layer excitation 

Colorless light sensations, due both Improbability of two distinct ret- 

to rod-excitation and to com- inal conditions of subjectively 

bination of distinct color-pro- similar sensations. 


(b) Theory of C. L. Franklin 
Four color-elements, due to partial 

substance) in cones. 
Colorless light sensations due to 
complete decomposition of: 
(#) Undifferentiated mole- 

cules in rods. 

() Differentiated molecules 
in cones. 



There are two forms of contrast, successive and simultaneous. 
Successive contrast may be illustrated by the following rough 
experiment: if, with eyes fixed, one looks steadily for twenty or 
thirty seconds at a square of red paper on a gray surface, and if one 
then looks off at the gray background, one is conscious, not of the 
uninterrupted gray field, but of a square of bluish green, which 
moves, as one's eyes move, across the background. 1 Parallel 
results follow upon the fixation of small green, blue and yellow 
surfaces : when the eye is moved to the gray background one sees, 

1 For experiments, cf. Sanford, 124; Titchener, u, Exps. (7) and (8). 

474 Contrast-phenomena 

instead of gray, a second figure, whose color is complementary 
to that of the stimulus; and if white or black be fixated, the 
'negative after-image,' as the contrasting color is called, is black 
or white. 

Here one has an instance of a psychic phenomenon, precisely 
opposed to that which is the natural consequence of the physical 
stimulus: yellow light induces the sensational consciousness of 
blue, blue light induces yellow, and so on. The explanation 
of these contrast-phenomena must therefore be physiological. 
According to Fechner, followed by Helmholtz, 1 they are due to 
retinal fatigue. The retinal process induced by the yellow light, 
for example, is exhausted by fixation of the yellow paper; when, 
therefore, the eye is moved to the gray background and the retina 
is stimulated by colorless light (a combination of ether-waves 
of all vibration-rates), the retinal processes corresponding to the 
yellow light are exhausted, and only the unfatigued processes, 
which condition the consciousness of blue, are excited. This 
explanation, though most often stated in terms of the Helmholtz 
theory, is really in accord with any hypothesis of retinal activity 
as occasioning color-sensations. Hering has shown, however, 
that the Fechner theory is insufficient to explain all the phe- 
nomena involved in successive contrast. 2 In particular, he shows 
that the background of the negative after-image is always affected 
in hue or in intensity. 

We turn, therefore, to the study of simultaneous contrast. 
Many everyday phenomena, for example the decided blue of the 
shadows on a sunlighted field of snow, illustrate what is known 
as simultaneous contrast. There are also many experimental 
verifications of the phenomenon. 8 The simplest is the examina- 
tion of squares or rings of gray, on colored surfaces, through a 
tissue paper covering, which obscures the outline of the gray fig- 
ures; these gray figures will then appear in the color comple- 
mentary to the background, yellow on a blue background, red on 
bluish green, and so on. 

An exact explanation of this curious phenomenon has never 
been given, but it has been established by Hering, against the 
teaching of Helmholtz, that the explanation, whatever it is, of 
simultaneous contrast, must be physiological in its nature. 
Helmholtz taught that simultaneous contrast is no more nor less 
than a psychological illusion. 4 According to his theory, we 

1 " Physiologische Optik," Ed. 2, pp. 501 seq., 537 seq., 28, 24. 

2 Cf. Hering, "Zur Lehre vom Lichtsinne," especially 18. 

8 For experiments, cf. Sanford, 152, , <r, d\ Titchener, 10, especially 
Exp. (i), (2), (3). * Op. cit., 24, p. 559. 

Color-blindness 475 

'really ' see, not a complementary contrast-color but the physi- 
cally excited, actual gray figure, though we fallaciously suppose 
that this gray is yellow, if it lies on a blue background, or green, 
if it is seen against purple. The explanation, for so widespread 
an illusion, is found in the admitted fact that people are accus- 
tomed to look at familiar, colored objects through a comple- 
mentary colored medium, which makes them seem gray. For 
example, we see a red brick wall through the green lights of a 
hall door; the wall seems gray, but we still think of it as red. 
Or again, the blue gown looks gray in the yellow gaslight, but is 
known to be blue. The gray figures of the simultaneous contrast 
experiences are thus, Helmholtz holds, inferred not actually 
seen to be of a color complementary to that of the background. 
But opposed to this theory of Helmholtz are insurmountable 
obstacles. In the first place, it directly contradicts our intro- 
spection. We not only do not naturally see objects, in simul- 
taneous contrast, as gray, but in most cases we cannot force 
ourselves to do so; the gray ring on the colored background is 
immediately, and inevitably, blue or yellow or red. It is highly 
improbable, in the second place, that our comparatively infre- 
quent and unnoticed experiences of colored objects, in light of 
complementary color, should have formed in us such a habit of 
inference as this theory supposes. The Helmholtz theory is 
disproved, finally, by direct and unambiguous experiments. 1 

It is fair to conclude, with Hering, that simultaneous contrast 
is physiologically conditioned; in other words, that when one 
part of the retina is directly excited by a colored light, retinal 
processes which condition a complementary color are set up in 
the neighboring retinal regions. This undoubted fact can be 
stated in terms of any color-theory, but it has never been, in any 
strict sense explained, or accounted for. 2 


The description and explanation of color-blindness have gone 
hand in hand with the discussion of color-theories, and fact has 
not even, always, been clearly distinguished from hypothesis. It 
was rightly inferred, for example, that if the Helmholtz hypothe- 
sis (of three color-processes and no distinct colorless light appara- 
tus) were correct, then color-blindness would consist in the absence 
of one or other of these color-processes. Accordingly, the ordi- 

1 Cf. Sanford, 155 a and b\ 156 a and b ; Hering, " Beitrag zur Lehre vom 
Simultankontrast," Ztsch. f. Psych, u. Physiol. d. Sinnesorgane, Vol. I., p. 18. 

2 Cf. C. L. Franklin, Mind, N. S., Vol. II., 1893. 

476 Color-blindness 

nary forms of color-blindness were called 'red-blindness* and 
'green-blindness.' It has, however, been established by Hering 
and by others, that the so-called ' red-blind ' sees red, not as 
green-blue which the Helmholtz theory requires but as gray, 
and that he does not see green as green; and conversely, it has 
been shown that the ' green-blind ' sees green as gray and fails to 
see red as red. This conclusion has been reached both by experi- 
ments on the totally red-green blind, which require the matching 
of different hues and shades, and also by the examination of 
subjects who are color-blind in one eye only, so that they can 
compare their color-blind with their normal experiences. 1 Evi- 
dently, therefore, the facts of color-blindness definitely contradict 
the Hemholtz color-theory. Unfortunately, they do not unequivo- 
cally pronounce in favor of any one of the other color-theories. 
A further study of the forms of color-blindness will make this 

In his early discussions of color-blindness, Hering supposed 
the existence of a single form of red-green blindness, in which 
both red and green were seen as gray. Later investigation has, 
however, established the fact that there are two distinct types of 
red-green blindness. In the one, the unmixed red is seen as 
gray, the yellowish reds and greens are an unsaturated yellow, 
and even saturated green appears as yellow and not as gray. In 
the other form of red-green blindness, saturated green seems 
gray, the yellowish greens and reds are unsaturated yellow, and 
even red is seen not as gray but as yellow. 2 " It is as if red vision 
had fallen out and green vision had been turned into yellow 
vision for the one sort; and for the other sort, it is as if green 
vision had fallen out and yellow vision had taken the place of 
red vision." 8 The existence of these different forms of red 
green blindness tells against the Hering view that all forms of 
red-green blindness are due merely to the absence of the red- 
green substance. Hering's recent explanation of the distinction, 
as due to individual differences in the yellow spot of the eye, is 
inadequate; Muller's account of it, as due to an indirect effect 
of red light on the 'blue-yellow ' substance, is extremely compli- 
cated, and is, of course, at variance with the Hering theory in 
its original form; Ebbinghaus's theory, that the distinction is 
due to individual differences in objectively colored retinal sub- 

1 Cf. Hering, " Zur Erklarung der Farbenblindheit, Sonderabdruck," 1880, 
especially 5 ; " Die Untersuchung einseitiger Storung des Farbeusinnes," 
especially pp. 10 seq. 

2 Cf. Wundt, op. cit., 4 te Aufl., I., 508, and 510, note i. 

8 C. L. Franklin, op. '/., Psychological Review, Vol. VI., p. 82. 

Color-blindness 477 

stances, makes use of an unsubstantiated hypothesis. The differ- 
ence between the red-blind with his gray, yellow and blue spectrum 
and the green-blind with his yellow, gray and blue spectrum, is 
thus a crucial difficulty for the Hering hypothesis. 

The forms of blue-yellow blindness, and their relation to gen- 
eral color-theory, need not be discussed at length, for so few cases 
have been described J that this form of dichromatic color-blind- 
ness is insufficiently established. Either the absence or the 
rarity of blue-yellow blindness would indicate, we may observe, 
that blue and yellow were the primitive forms of color-vision, 
and that red and green, the last to be attained, are the earliest 
lost. This accords well, it will be noted, with the Franklin 
theory, that the vibrating portions of the color-molecule, which 
occasion 'red ' and 'green,' are developed out of the portion 
whose decomposition occasions yellow. The fact, however, may 
be stated in harmony with still other color-theories. 

There are a number of well authenticated cases of achromasia, 
or total color-blindness, in which the subject sees all the spectral 
colors as tones of gray. The spectrum of the totally color-blind 
is probably like that of the normal eye in faint illumination. 
Two forms of achromasia have been discovered. The first includes 
cases in which the fovea, which, in the normal eye, contains 
cones only and no rods, is totally blind, not merely color-blind. 
Such cases evidently tell in favor of the Konig, von Kries and 
Franklin theories, of colorless light sensations as due to retinal 
processes connected with the rods, since excitation of a retinal 
area, devoid of rods, produces, in the color-blind, no visual sen- 
sations whatever. But at least three cases of another sort have 
been reported. 2 In these, there was no blindness of the fovea, 
which must therefore have contained some apparatus for colorless 
light sensations. These cases have been urged against the theory 
that cone-processes condition color-vision, whereas rod-processes 
occasion colorless light sensations. But as Mrs. Franklin points 
out, 3 this form of color-blindness does not disprove these theo- 
ries, though it does not support them. For one may either sup- 
pose, in general harmony with von Kries or Franklin, (i) that 
the sensitive fovese of these three color-blind subjects were unlike 
the normal, precisely in that they contained not cones but rods 
probably without visual purple; or one may suppose (2) that 

1 Cf. Wundt, op cit., Vol. I., p. 509 ; Ebbinghaus, op cit^ p. 71. 

2 Cf. Hess and Hering, Pfluger's Archiv, 71, 105, reviewed by C. L. Frank- 
lin, Psychological Review, Vol. V., p. 532. 

8 " The New Cases of Total Color-blindness," Psychological Review, Vol. 
V., p. 503. 

478 The Purkinje Phenomenon 

these fovese contained undeveloped cones, provided with the 
same photochemical substance as the rods; or finally, (3) that 
these cases of color-blindness, without total blindness of the 
fovea, are due to no retinal peculiarity whatever, but to some 
disturbance of the visual centres in the brain. Many facts speak 
for this last hypothesis. Acquired color-blindness is almost 
always a symptom of disease of brain or of optic nerve; the 
effect, which is cerebral, of a dose of santonine, is to induce 
yellow-blindness; and it certainly is highly probable that color- 
blindness is due to cerebral rather than to retinal conditions, 1 
where there is, otherwise, absolutely undisturbed vision. 

These conclusions may now be summarized, with the remark 
that few of them would remain unchallenged by some students of 
color-vision: There are two general classes of color-blindness, 
partial and total. Red-blindness in which the spectrum order 
of colors appears as gray, yellow, blue and green blindness 
in which the order is yellow, gray, blue are the most common 
form of dichromasia or partial color-blindness; but there are 
also a few alleged cases of yellow-blue blindness, in which the 
patient sees grays, reds and greens, but no blues and yellows. 
There are two forms of achromasia, or total color-blindness : in 
one, probably retinal in origin, the fovea is totally blind, and 
there are accompanying defects of vision; in the second form of 
achromasia, very likely due to cerebral defects, the fovea is not 
totally blind, and there are no defects of vision, other than the 
color-blindness. These facts absolutely contradict the Helm- 
holtz theory; are with difficulty harmonized with the Hering 
theory; support, or at least do not oppose, a theory of the general 
form of the Franklin hypothesis. 


It will be well to summarize here the essential features of a 
characteristic color-phenomenon, often encountered in our study, 
under its historic name of 'Purkinje phenomenon.' As first 
observed, it consists simply in the fact that green and blue, 2 seen 
in a faint light, have a greater intensity than red and yellow. 
This is illustrated by the familiar phenomenon that greens and 
blues keep their color in the twilight far better and far longer 
than reds and yellows; my bookshelf, for example, as the twilight 
falls, is a succession of intense greens and blues, broken by dull 

1 Cf. C. L. Franklin, Psychological Review, Vol. VII., p. 520. 

2 Cf. C. L. Franklin, Psychological Re-view, Vol. VII., p. 601. 

The Purkinje Phenomenon 479 

reds and yellows; as the room grows darker, the greens and blues 
stand out against lighter and darker grays, representing the reds 
and yellows; and even when these greens and blues have them- 
selves turned to gray, they are distinctly brighter, more nearly 
white, than the reds and yellows. 1 

A spectrum, therefore, regarded in a very faint light, is a 
series of grays, darkest at the red end and brightest in the region 
of green. Up to this point, the Purkinje phenomenon has been 
described, so far as it affects colors. In recent years it has, 
however, been shown by Ebbinghaus and by C. L. Franklin, that 
if two grays, one produced by the mixture of red and blue-green 
lights, and the other excited by the mixture of blue and yellow 
lights, be precisely matched in a bright light, the first of the two 
will grow brighter than the other in a faint light. Mrs. Franklin 
has suggestively named this observation an extension of the 
Purkinje phenomenon. 

The significance of the Purkinje phenomenon has constantly 
appeared in our discussion of color-theories. It is the most 
unambiguous psychological argument for the theory that the visual 
purple, and consequently the rods with which it is found, are 
organs of achromatic, or colorless light vision. For the Purkinje 
phenomenon appears only in faint illumination, and the visual 
purple is active only in faint light; moreover, the Purkinje phe- 
nomenon consists in the intensification of green and secondarily 
of blue lights, and the visual purple absorbs green rays and, 
after green, blue rays most readily; finally, the Purkinje phe- 
nomenon, as has been found, 2 does aot occur when the foveae of 
normal and partially color-blind eyes are excited, that is to say, 
it does not occur by excitation of the region of the retina which 
lacks visual purple and rods. 

Mention should be made of Hering's most recent account of 
the Purkinje phenomenon as due to the 'specific brightening 
power' of the different colors. 3 This hypothesis has lost its 
excuse for being, for, at best, it described the Purkinje phenome- 
non instead of explaining it; and it is logically, as well as physio- 
logically, superseded by the discovery that the visual purple so 
readily absorbs green and blue rays. 

1 For experiment, cf. Sanford, 142. 

2 Von Kries u. Nagel, Zfsch. f. Psych, u. Physiol. d. Sinnesorgane, Vol. 
XXI 1 1., p. 1 6 1, discussed by C.L. Franklin, Psychological Keview,Vo\.Vl\.,^.6oo. 

8 This hypothesis, it should be noted, is not identical with Hering's origi- 
nal supposition, which he has now abandoned, that the brightness of a color 
consists in the brightness of the colorless light mixed with it. Cf. C. L. Frank- 
lin, Psychological Review, Vol. III., p. 695; Vol. V., p. 332; Vol. VII., p. 604. 

480 Physical Conditions of Smell 




JOHANNES MULLER is responsible for the hypothesis that odorous 
particles are in solution when they act upon the end-organs of 
smell. He supposed them to be dissolved in the liquid which 
covers the olfactory membrane. The arguments for this hypothe- 
sis are as follows: First, amphibia and fishes have central nervous 
developments and peripheral organs which somewhat resemble 
the organs of smell in birds and in mammals. Second, if the 
mucous membrane of the nose becomes dry, as it does in the first 
stage of rhinitis, smell is impaired. Third, Aronsohn obtained 
sensations of smell when he poured into the nose, from the height 
of half a meter, normal saline solutions of odorous matter, of 
slight concentration, and at 40 C. Against these arguments 
Zwaardemaker urges the following considerations : First, aquatic 
mammals have, in a rudimentary state, organs of smell which 
resemble those of land mammals. This does not look as if these 
organs could function under water. Second, the drying of the 
nasal membrane in rhinitis is confined almost entirely to the 
respiratory membrane, and is conjoined with hypersemia and 
with swelling, which constitutes a mechanical hindrance to the 
passage of odorous particles. Third, it cannot be shown that 
Aronsohn succeeded in filling the nasal cavities so completely as 
to exclude all bubbles of air. It is very difficult to drive all the 
air out of blind pouches. 

Against the hypothesis, Zwaardemaker urges further: First, 
that the hairs of the olfactory cells protrude through the thin 
layer of liquid which covers the membrane; second, that most 
odorous substances are insoluble, or soluble to a very slight degree, 
in water. In a room saturated with perfume or tobacco smoke, 
although a bit of glass or of cotton-wool will take up the odor, 
water will not. Gums, sethereal oils and the like are the materials 
of the perfume industry. 1 

Gaseous particles are given off from the surface of odorous 
bodies by simple evaporation, by oxidation, by hydrolitic changes, 

1 This discussion is found in Zwaardemaker's " Physiologic des Geruchs," 
Leipzig, 1895, PP- 62 ~ 66 - 

Physical Conditions of Smell 481 

and by more complicated processes of decomposition. Some 
strongly odorous substances, such as sethereal oils, diffuse them- 
selves in a thin film over the surface of water, and are probably 
often carried through the air in the form of minute drops. Odor- 
ous vapors diffuse slowly; hence their significance in the animal 

We know much less of the chemistry than of the physics of 
smell. Certain groups of atoms occur so persistently, in ranges 
of similar smells, that they would seem to condition these smells. 
Yet the total composition of these similarly odorous substances 
differs so much that we can scarcely believe the connection to be 
direct. Zwaardemaker suggests that the function of these effec- 
tive groups of atoms may be analogous to the part which chemical 
composition plays in the absorption of different colored lights. 
Smells, he supposes, may be conditioned by ether vibrations, 
which are determined by the intramolecular motions of the tiniest 
particles of odorous substances. The ether vibrations must be 
longer or shorter than the light and heat waves. Since very short 
light waves may be absorbed by a layer of air only a few milli- 
meters thick, and since odors can be detected only near their 
source, it is probable that odor vibrations are very short rather 
than comparatively long. 1 

We may hope for a satisfactory classification of odors, only on 
a physiological basis and by the help of the exhaustion-experi- 
ments, initiated by Aronsohn. Zwaardemaker is certainly justi- 
fied in arguing that if certain zones of the olfactory membrane 
are especially sensitive to certain smells, these zones must be 
arranged horizontally from front to back, and not vertically; for 
the height to which the air is drawn into the nose makes a differ- 
ence in the intensity but none in the quality of a smell. 2 Other 
features of Zwaardemaker 's theory are the following: The lower 
cells, taken vertically, maybe more sensitive to the heavier odors 
of an homologous series, and the higher cells to the lighter. 3 
Cells are not set apart to some one stimulus exclusively; they are 
simply more sensitive to one stimulus, and less so to others. 
Excitations may irradiate from the points especially sensitive to 
given stimuli, and may overlap. In case they overlap, we have 
a fusion of odors. 4 The great variety of odors in nature is due to 
fusion. It is comparable, on the theory of this text-book, to the 
scales of hues, tints and shades, not to the pure tonal scale. 
When there is no coincidence of excitations, smells 'compen- 

1 Zwaardemaker, op. cit., pp. 253-254. 2 Ibid., p. 262. 
8 pp. 272-275. * pp. 278-284. 

2 I 

482 End-organs of Pressure 

sate ' or cancel each other. Since compensation takes place even 
when the stimuli are applied to different nostrils, there must be 
some central cancellation of excitations. 1 

It should be added that the details of fusion and compensation 
are in dispute; and that uniform results are by no means easy to 
obtain in exhaustion-experiments. Such experiments, except for 
purposes of illustration, should always be made with an olfac- 
tometer, and the subject's breathing should be recorded with 
a pneumograph. 



AT least five sorts of differentiated nerve-endings are found in 
or beneath the skin. There are, in the first place, the hair-bulbs, 
from which project the fine hairs which transmit any movement 
with accelerated force : many of the affer- 
ent nerves terminate in these bulbs. 
There are also four distinct forms of end- 
organs: 8 (i) Tactile corpuscles (Meiss- 
ner's), found in the papillae of the dermis, 
or lower skin, in which several nerves end. 
These have a soft core, separated into 
several masses by end-plates, in each of 
which a nerve-fibre seems to end; they 
seldom occur except in the skin of hand 
and of foot. (2) Touch cells, 'of the 
same essential structure, but receiving 
only one nerve-fibre each, distributed all 
over the skin.' (3) Pacinian corpuscles, 
. 'in the subcutaneous tissue of the hand 

FIG. 18. A dermic papilla , .. , , , , ... 

containing tactile corpuscle and foot, and about the knee-joint. 1 

(Meissner's). (4) End-bulbs, consisting 'of a core with 

connective-tissue capsule, found on parts 

of the lips, in the conjunctiva, and on mucous membranes of 
palate and tongue.' Besides the nerves ending in the hair-bulbs 
and in these special organs, there are nerves with so-called 'free ' 

1 Op. dt., pp. 284-287. 

2 Cf. " Untersuchungen, u. s. w." (See this book, p. 68, footnote.) 
* Cf. Martin, op. cit., pp. 556 seq. 

End-organs of Pressure 483 

endings, that is to say, nerves terminating in undifferentiated 

In the fifth chapter of this book, von Frey's theory that both 
the hair-bulbs and the tactile corpuscles are end-organs of press- 
ure has been approved; and his theory that the pain-nerves are 
nerves with free end-organs has been named among the hypothe- 
ses regarding the physiological conditions of pain. It will be 
well, therefore, to outline von Frey's methods and his arguments. 
His apparatus consists of a large number of light sticks, ten cen- 
timeters long, to each of which is fastened, at right angles, a 
hair from two to three centimeters in length. (For coarse work, 
a horse-hair is used, otherwise, a human hair for finest work, 
the hair of a child.) The diameter of the hair, and thus its 
pressure area, is measured under the microscope. The force 
necessary to bend each hair is determined by a delicately poised 
scale; the number of grams of pressure is calculated from these 

data. The unit is therefore , " the number of grams press- 

ure necessary to produce a sensation of pressure when the con- 
tact surface equals one square millimeter." 1 

Von Frey holds, as has been shown, that there are two sorts of 
pressure end-organs: first, the hair-bulbs, whose connection with 
pressure-sensations is proved by the fact that hairy spots are 
especially sensitive to pressure; and second, the 'tactile cor- 
puscles,' or corpuscles of Meissner. These organs, as has been 
said, are most frequent on hairless portions of the body, espe- 
cially on hand and foot, and are entirely absent from some hairy 
parts of the body. In proof of this second part of the theory, 
von Frey urges the following facts: (i) The number of these 
corpuscles of Meissner corresponds with the number of actually 
discovered pressure-spots. This correspondence has not been 
observed in the case of any other skin end-organs. For example, 
there are only 608 Pacinian corpuscles in the palm of the hand 
a number far smaller than that of the pressure-spots. (2) The 
situation of the Meissner corpuscles in the dermis or lower skin 
accounts for the fact that the pressure-intensity from a very small 
surface is not proportional to that from a larger surface. For in 
the case of small stimuli, but not in the case of larger ones, the 
depth of skin to be stimulated, before the corpuscle of Meissner 
is affected, actually neutralizes the force of the stimulus. Finally, 
(3) the connection of the corpuscle through its two or three nerve 
fibrils with several distinct nerves, differentiates the pressure- 

1 For criticism, cf. W. A. Nagel, Plfiiger's Archiv, 1895, Vol. LIX., p. 595. 

484 Physiological Excitation of Pain 

spots in a way which closely corresponds with our keen dis- 
crimination of different contacts. 

It should be noticed that von Frey's results contradict Gold- 
scheider's, in that Goldscheider finds in hairy areas many 
pressure-spots unconnected with the hairs, whereas von Frey 
finds but few. Von Frey explains the discrepancy by suppos- 
ing that Goldscheider used too heavy stimuli, which initiated 
excitations radiating from the organ first stimulated. 


Von Frey's theory of the physiological conditions of pain is 
based on his discovery, with the apparatus just described, of cer- 
tain points on the elbow-joints and on the cornea and conjunctiva 
of the eye, which are sensitive to pain and not to pressure; these 
argue, he points out, for the existence of special pain-nerves, and 
these pain-nerves are, he believes, the nerves which terminate in 
free endings, that is to say, in undifferentiated nerve-cells. Von 
Frey reaches this conclusion by the following rather complicated 
argument: (i) It has been observed that large surfaces excite 
sensations of pressure, whose intensity is nearly proportional to 
the weight of the stimuli, whereas this proportion is not observed 
when the pressure-stimuli have small surfaces. (2) This contrast 
can only be explained by the fact that, in the latter case, the thick- 
ness of the skin neutralizes the pressure of the stimulating object; 
and this indicates that the end-organs of pressure lie deep. Now, 
(3) in the case of pain-stimuli this contrast is not observable, and 
it follows, according to von Frey, that the pain nerve-endings 
must lie nearer the surface. The undifferentiated 'free' nerve- 
endings are those which meet this condition. 1 

As has been said, von Frey explains the fact that so few parts 
of the body have been found, which are insensitive to pressure 
yet sensitive to pain, by supposing that the pain nerve-endings 
are far less easily excited than the pressure end-organs. He 
also admits the possibility that internal pains are due to direct 
excitation of pain nerve-fibres. 2 

It should be added that W. A. Nagel has repeated von Frey's 
experiment, and that he finds, 8 in opposition to von Frey, that 
conjunctiva and cornea are sensitive to pressure, and, for some 
persons, to cold, though not to warmth. He explains von Frey's 
results by the supposition that von Frey's hairs pricked the sur- 

1 Op. cit., p. 257. 2 Op. cit., p. 258. 

8 Pfluger's Archiv, Vol. LTX., p. 563. Cf. G. W. A. Luckey, American 
Journal of Psychology, Vol. VII., p. 109. 

Bodily Movements 485 

faces, instead of gently touching them. Nagel concludes that 
the existence of distinct pain nerves is unproved. The results 
of his experiments incline him to the Goldscheider theory. 

In the diversity of expert opinion the layman may well hesitate, 
therefore, to decide between the end-organ theory of von Frey 
and others, and the theories, like that of Goldscheider, which 
deny a peripheral end-organ of pain while maintaining its sensa- 
tional character. An ingenious theory, of this second type, that 
of Professor Z. Oppenheimer, 1 may be briefly mentioned. Dr. 
Oppenheimer attributes pain to excitation both of cutaneous 
nerves and of the sympathetic nervous system. 


SUCH constant reference is made, throughout a treatise on 
psychology, to the different forms of bodily movement, that it 
will be convenient to summarize here the distinctions on which 
various chapters comment in more detail. The forms of bodily 
movement are grouped together in the following summary : 


I. Automatic Movements. (Stimulus : within the organism. Always 


a. Without consciousness ) I . Once performed. 

b. With consciousness \ 2. Habitual. 

II. Reflex Movements. (Stimulus : without the organism.) 

a. Without consciousness. 

1. Instinctive "} 

2. Acquired C (*) Once performed. 

(Externally ( (fy Habitual, 
imitative ) ) 

b. With consciousness. 

1. Instinctive ) (a) Once performed. 

2. Acquired f () Habitual. 

1 " Schmerz u. Temperatur Empfindung," p. 128; cf. Luckey, op. cit. 

486 Theories of Attention 

(Following upon anticipatory idea. Always with consciousness.) 

I. Impulsive. (Unconsciously imitative of anticipatory idea.) 

a. Habitual (self-imitative). 

b. Externally imitative. 

II. Volitional. (Consciously imitative of anticipatory idea.) 

1. Simple > (a) Habitual. 

2. Deliberative ) (b} Externally imitative. 



THERE is no subject in psychology concerning which more 
divergent views are held than this topic of the nature of atten- 
tion. It is almost correct to say that no one theory has the 
undivided support even of any one scholar. The following types 
of theory including those referred to in the text are of 
greatest importance. 


This theory distinguishes attention, as an activity of conscious- 
ness, from the passivity of perception and imagination, thus 
regarding it as a radically different sort of consciousness. In 
merely perceiving and in imagining, say the upholders of this 
doctrine, we are clearly inactive and receptive; in attention, on 
the other hand, we evidently assert ourselves and react upon our 
environment. This is the view of the books written wholly from 
the so-called 'spiritualist ' standpoint, but it may also be dis- 
covered in books written on an utterly different basis. Wundt's 
theory, for example, of apperception and attention, often pre- 
supposes this activity of a self. The objections to the theory may 
be readily stated. It has been urged 1 (i) that the activity which 
it presupposes is a metaphysical entity, a mind-activity inferred 
to account for the facts of attention, not an experience actually 
observed. This objection certainly holds good against many 
statements of the activity-theory. When Professor Ladd, for 
example, says that "primary attention is a form of psychical 

1 Cf. Titchener, " Outline," 36. 

Motor Theory of Attention 487 

energy," 1 and again that "attention is ... a striving and 
selective, but self-originating activity," it is hard to divorce 
from his words a metaphysical implication. Yet it is certainly 
possible, in the opinion of the writer, to discover within one's 
conscious life the distinct experience of activity a form of 
consciousness which is present in will and in belief, and lacking 
in revery and in perception. But (2) activity, in this sense of 
will or belief, is something other than attention. This is evi- 
dent from the fact that even the upholders of the activity-theory 
admit that attention may be involuntary as well as voluntary 
('passive ' as well as 'active '). 

The admission of a passive as well as an active form of atten- 
tion is, indeed, as Titchener has pointed out, a virtual abandon- 
ment of the activity-theory. So long as 'passive ' attention is 
admitted to be attention, and yet to involve no activity, the 
activity can be no necessary feature of attention. Certain 
activity-theory psychologists, realizing this dilemma, insist that 
the activity is present in the earliest stages of consciousness. 
But once more, (3) activity, in this general sense, is either a 
metaphysical concept, or else a synonym for self-consciousness, 
not a designation of any phase of consciousness. 

Both Titchener and Miinsterberg, in different connections, urge 
against the activity-theory (4) that the alleged activity is really a 
consciousness of bodily motions; and this is probably true of 
many (though not of all) experiences of activity. 

The theories of attention which will next be considered are 
alike, in that they mistake in the opinion of the writer the 
frequent accompaniment or result of attention for attention itself. 
Historically, most important of these is 


According to this hypothesis, attention consists simply and 
solely of what we have called its motor results, and of the con- 
sciousness of these motor phenomena adjustment of sense- 
organs or movements of the scalp, and contraction of inhibitory 
muscles. The best-known exposition of the view is that of 
Theodule Ribot. 2 It derives its plausibility from the constant 
presence in admitted attention, not only of the characteristic 

1 " Psychology, Descriptive and Explanatory," pp. 34 and 37. 

2 "The Psychology of Attention." Cf. Bain, "Emotions and Will," and 
N. Lange, " Philosophische Studien," Vol. IV. See also summary, James, op. 
/., Vol. I., p. 444. 

488 Theories of Attention 

motor accompaniments, but of the little-heeded, readily forgot- 
ten, yet persistent feelings of bodily movement. Nevertheless, 
introspection shows clearly that by attention we mean something 
more than consciousness of bodily motions. It is perfectly cer- 
tain that the terms are not synonymous in our experience. The 
theory of the text, which treats the bodily movements as results 
or as accompaniments of the attention-element, clearness, does 
justice to their significance, without giving them a false 


This theory is unambiguously stated by Stumpf, 1 who says, 
" Aufmerksamkeit ist identisch mit Interesse und Interesse ist 
ein Gefiihl." Wundt, though he does not expressly relate atten- 
tion and affection, regards them as alike in two important particu- 
lars: both are referred to the self, 2 and both are physiologically 
conditioned by excitation of the frontal lobes. Titchener, like 
Wundt, does not actually identify attention and affection, but 
calls them 'back and front,' obverse and reverse of the same 
state, 'two sides of one 3 experience.' On the other hand, he 
does identify interest and affection. "A felt thing," he says, "is 
an interesting thing"; "a thing that interests us is a thing, the 
idea of which is overlaid with affection." If, therefore, that 
view is correct, which is outlined in Chapter XI. of this book, 
upheld by Stumpf, and stated by James in the words, " what we 
are interested in and what we attend to are synonymous terms," 
then the identification of interest and affection amounts to the 
identification of attention and affection. Titchener, however, 
would not admit the identity of interest and attention, and really 
teaches that attention and affection (which he names interest) 
are constant accompaniments. In the opinion of the present 
writer, 4 it is untrue to introspection to insist that the attended-to 
is invariably pleasant or unpleasant, though it is unquestionably 
true that attention is often affectively toned. 


Two theories which agree in denying that attention adds 
anything to consciousness will be briefly named. The first is 

1 "Tonpsychologie," Vol. I., 4, II., 22. 

2 " Physiologische Psychologic," Vol. II., Chapter 18, p. 497 ("Zustande 
die wir unmittelbar auf ein Leiden oder Thatigkeit unsers Ich beziehen"). 

8 " Primer," 33. 4 Cf. Chapter XI., p. 141. 

Theories of Attention 489 

that of F. H. Bradley, who frankly insists l that attention is a 
mere synonym for consciousness, and that inattention is pure 

A more ordinary view, of the same general import, defines 
attention as inhibition, or exclusion. My attention at a moment 
of intellectual strain consists, for example, in the fact that I am 
not conscious of the plainly audible gnawing of a mouse. This 
theory evidently identifies attention with what we have reckoned 
as one of its secondary characteristics, its narrowness or monoi- 
deism, as Ribot calls it. Both conceptions of attention are 
evidently set aside, if we have been right in our discovery of an 
attention-element, clearness; for such an element would evidently 
distinguish attention from mere consciousness, and would endow 
it with a more positive characteristic than its narrowness or 

It should be added that the inhibition theory of attention may 
be a physiological hypothesis concerning the cerebral condition 
of attention. 


It is difficult to point to any one writer who holds steadily and 
consistently to this view; but the activity-theories constantly tend 
toward expression in these terms. So, Wundt says, that clear- 
ness (Klarheit} is an element of attention; 2 and this statement 
implies the existence of a distinct element of consciousness. 
Titchener's latest account of attention 8 describes it as the 
(i) clearness of (2) a narrow experience which (3) is constantly 
accompanied by affections and bodily movements, and (4) is 
easily reproducible. This accords closely with the conception 
of this book; and though Titchener does not define clearness, it 
is easiest to suppose that he virtually conceives it as element of 

The theory of an attention-element is also clearly suggested by 
Miinsterberg in his doctrine of vividness. He does not, to be 
sure, define vividness as element of consciousness, since he uses 
the term 'element ' in another sense than that of this book; but 
he calls vividness a distinct 'variation ' or 'dimension ' or 'value ' 
of sensation, and explains it, as will be pointed out, by a distinct 
physiological process. 4 

1 Mind, N. S., Vol., II., 1893, P- 211. 

2 " Physiologische Psychologic," 4** Aufl., Vol. IT., p. 271. 
8 " Experimental Psychology," Vol. I., Pt. I., p. 109. 

4 " Psychology and Life," pp. 86, 95-96. Cf. " Grundzuge d. Psychologic," 
P- 531. 

490 Theories of Attention 


Brief mention must be made, in conclusion, of the theories 
which have concerned themselves with the physiological condi- 
tions of attention. Roughly speaking, these are of three varie- 
ties : 1 First, theories which claim an afferent (or sensory) neural 
excitation for attention. In general, these theories 2 suppose a 
reinforcement of the brain-excitations which condition inatten- 
tive consciousness. The objections to the conception are, first, 
its vagueness, and second, the fact that on this view there seems 
to be no conceivable distinction between the physiological con- 
dition of sense-intensity (which is surely nothing other than 
'reenforced ' cerebral excitation) and that of attention. Yet 
sense-intensity and attention are psychologically perfectly dis- 
tinct. 8 

In the second place, there are ' motor' theories of attention. 
The earliest of them attached itself to the Ribot theory of atten- 
tion, as essentially composed of movements and feelings of 
movement. It treated this consciousness of movement, after 
the manner of Wundt and others, as a feeling of 'innervation ' 
or outgoing energy. Ferrier, James, Miinsterberg and others, 
however, proved that this feeling of movement is nothing more 
than a sensory consciousness of bodily pressure, which must be 
due to the excitation of cells in the sensory pressure-centre of 
the brain. 4 

A later 'motor ' theory of attention attributes merely inhibitive 
functions to motor cells and to efferent fibres of the brain. 5 
Miinsterberg, finally, has still a third 'motor' theory. He 
explains attention or vividness as due to the ' intensity of the 
discharge ' of the nerve-current along the efferent nerves. 6 

The physiological theories of attention, which belong to the 
third group, explain attention, not as due to the functioning of 
sensory or of motor cells and fibres, but as due to the activity of 
cells and fibres in the so-called association-centres. The best 
known of these hypotheses is that of Wundt, 7 who conceives of 

1 Cf. throughout, A. J. Hamlin, " Attention and Distraction," American 
Journal of Psychology, Vol. VIII., 1896, I. 

2 Cf. Bastian, Revue Philosophique, 1892, p. 353 ; and Marillier, ibid., 
Vol. XXVII., p. 566. 6 Cf. A. J. Hamlin, op. cit., p. 13. 

8 Cf. Chapter XI., pp. 140-141. 6 " Psychology and Life," pp. 95-96. 

* Cf. James, op. cit., II. 492 seq. 7 " Physiol. Psychologic," Vol. II., p. 275. 

Theories of Attention 491 

attention as conditioned by the conduction of nervous impulses 
from sensory centres to the frontal lobes, and thus outward to the 
motor fibres. The effect of this functioning of the frontal lobe 
centres is, according to Wundt, in the main inhibitive. 

The theory of this book belongs, in a general way, to this third 
group that is to say, the conception of a relational attention- 
element, clearness, implies as corollary the hypothesis that one 
of the association-centres of the brain is excited in attention. 
The constancy of the motor accompaniments of attention makes 
it highly probable, also, that outgoing fibres function in attention. 
In the opinion of the present writer, our knowledge of brain 
conditions warrants only some such tentative and general theory 
of the cerebral conditions of attention. 


MANY psychologists recognize, besides quality, intensity and 
extensity, a fourth sort of element of consciousness : duration. A 
psychic fact, they argue, is an event, and every event has duration 
as certainly as it has position in time : in Titchener's words, " it 
lasts a certain time." In this sense, duration is, it will be admitted, 
an attribute of psychic events, but it is not a psychic attribute. 
For, thus conceived, an idea has duration, precisely in the sense 
in which a physical change has duration, not in so far as it is idea, 
but in so far as it is event. In other words, duration is not an 
elemental constituent of the idea of which it is predicated. But 
an element or elemental attribute is an immediately felt part of 
percept or emotion. 

Duration, then, is not to be claimed as an element or an 
elemental attribute of consciousness, on the usual ground, that it 
may be predicated of all facts of consciousness. For, as thus 
predicated, it is an objective not a psychic attribute. Some 
psychologists, however, urge that duration is an immediately felt 
constituent of every sensation and idea, " the elemental, irreducible 
time-experience," as Meumann calls it. In this account of dura- 
tion, the psychic attribute or element is rightly conceived as im- 
mediate constituent of experience, but, on the other hand, our 
consciousness of duration is incorrectly described. For as almost 
all psychologists agree this is a distinctly complex experience, a 
composite of the feelings of ' change ' and of ' connection.' To 
sum up : duration, if an elemental attribute, predicable of every 
sensation and idea, is not a psychic character ; whereas duration, 
if a content of consciousness, that is, a fact for psychology, 
is a complex idea, not always present. 


This bibliography is incomplete, first, because of the limitations of 
its compiler's knowledge ; second, because of the limitations of this 
book, which is a general treatise, not a specialist monograph on any 
subject. On the other hand, this bibliography does not confine itself 
to English works, and includes references to the monograph and 
periodical literature of psychology, not only in the hope of inciting 
some students to psychological research, but in the belief that even 
elementary students are the better for a wide outlook. With a few 
exceptions, mainly in the literature of experiment, only books and 
papers of which the writer has a first-hand knowledge are referred to. 
Detailed references, in the body of the book, are seldom repeated 
here ; but relatively extended bibliographies are given of certain sub- 
jects of which the book does not treat. The lists are arranged in a 
rough topical order ; occasionally, also, the books or essays first named 
are those which seem, to the writer, of most immediate value to the 
student. (For complete list of books and essays on psychology pub- 
lished since 1889, cf. the yearly bibliography of the Zeitschrift fur 
Psychol. u. Physiol. d. Sinnesorgane ; and (since 1894) the Psycholog- 
ical Index now published conjointly by the Psychological Review, 
L'Annee Psychologique and the Zeitschrift.) 


(This is an incomplete list. In particular it omits all works pub- 
lished, or last issued, before 1890. For references to textbooks of 
Bain, Spencer, Lipps, Volkmann, Brentano, and Cornelius, see foot- 
notes of Chapter XXVIII.) 

William James, Principles of Psychology, I. and II., 1890. Psychology, 
Briefer Course, 1893. 

0. Kiilpe, Outlines of Psychology, 1895, Eng. Tr. (Macmillan Co.). 
(This book lays stress on psycho-physical relations and measure- 


Bibliography 493 

G. F. Stout, Analytic Psychology, I. and II., London and New York, 
1896. A Manual of Psychology, 1899. 

E. B. Titchener, An Outline of Psychology, 3d ed., 1899. 
James Sully, The Human Mind, I. and II., London, 1892. 

Harold Hoffding, Outlines of Psychology, Eng. Tr., New York, 1891. 
G. T. Ladd, Psychology, Descriptive and Explanatory, 1894. 
J. M. Baldwin, Handbook of Psychology, I. and II., 1894 and 1890. 
John Dewey, Psychology, 1890. 


Hugo Miinsterberg, Psychology and Life, 1899. Grundziige der 
Psychologic, Leipzig, 1900. 

F. H. Bradley, Phenomenalism in Psychology, Mind, N. S., IX., 1900. 
M. W. Calkins, Psychology as Science of Selves, Philos. Rev., IX. 

Elements of Conscious Complexes, Psych. Rev., VII. 

G. S. Fullerton, The Psychological Standpoint, Psych. Rev., 1894, I. 

Psychology and Physiology, ibid., 1896, III., p. 1. 
E. W. Scripture, The New Psychology, London and New York, 1897. 
(Part I.) E. B. Titchener, Structural Psychology, Philos. Rev., 
VII. James Ward, Modern Psychology, Mind, 1893. 


Wilhelm Wundt, Grundziige der Physiologische Psychologie, I. u. II. 

4te Aufl., Leipzig, 1893. (Forthcoming translation by Titchener, 

Macmillan Co.) 

George T. Ladd, Elements of Physiological Psychology, 1887. 
Th. Ziehen, Introduction to Physiological Psychology, Eng. Tr., 1895. 


E. C. Sanford, A Course in Experimental Psychology. Part I., Sensa- 
tion and Perception, 1898. 

E. B. Titchener, Experimental Psychology. Vol. I., Qualitative Ex- 
periments. Part I., Students' Manual. Part II., Instructors' 
Manual. 1901. 

Hofler and Witasek, Psych ologische Schulversuche, Leipzig, 1900. 
(See also periodical and monograph literature.) 


American Journal of Psychology (Worcester); Psychological Review, 
(New York); Zeitschrift fiir Psychologie und Physiologie der 

494 Bibliography 

Sinnesorgane (Leipzig) ; L'Annee Psychologique (Paris) ; Philo- 
sophische Studien (Leipzig). Publications of Laboratories. 
Monograph Supplements of the Psychological Review. (Cf. also 
the philosophical journals.) 


(Cf. throughout E. A. Schafer, Text-book of Physiology, Vol. II., 1900; 
M. Foster, Text-book of Physiology, 1895, Bk. III.; Hermann, 
Handbuch der Physiologic, III., 1879; Ebbinghaus, Grundzlige 
d. Psychologic, I., Leipzig, 1897 ; Wundt, Physiolog. Psych., and 
Kiilpe, op. cit.; Titchener, Exp. Psych., I., Instructor's; Zeit- 
schrift ; and Pfliiger's Archiv. For bibliographies, of. Titchener, 
op. cit., and San ford.) 

Visual Sensations 

H. von Helmholtz, Handbuch d. Physiolog. Optik, 2te Aufl., Ham- 
burg and Leipzig, 1896. E. Bering, Zur Lehre vom Lichtsinne, 
Vienna, 1878. (Cf., for other monographs by Hering, Hermann's 
Handbuch, loc. cit., Pfliiger's Archiv, etc.) H. Aubert, Grundziige 
d. Physiol. Optik, 1876. A. Fick, in Hermann's Handbuch, loc. 

(For further references, cf. above ; cf . footnotes of Appendix, Section 
III.; and cf. reviews, by C. L. Franklin, in the Psychological 
Review, of periodical and monograph literature since 1894.) 

Auditory Sensations 

C. Stumpf, Tonpsychologie, Leipzig, L, 1883 ; II., 1890. 

H. von Helmholtz, Sensations of Tone, Eng. Tr., London, 1895. 

M. Meyer, Ztschr., XI. Cross and Maltby, Proc. Amer. Acad., 1891-92. 

(For further references cf. Titchener, op. cit., pp. 51, 72.) 

Sensations of Taste and of Smell 

(For references, cf. above; cf. footnotes of Chapter IV. and of 
Appendix, Section IV. ; and cf. E. A. Jff.cC. Gamble, The Applica- 
bility of Weber's Law to Smell, Amer. Jour, of Psy., X., 1898.) 

' Cutaneous ' Sensations 

A. Goldscheider, Gesammelte Abhandlungen, I., II., Leipzig, 1898. 
Z. Oppenheimer, Schmerz u. Temperaturempfindung, Berlin, 1893. 

Bibliography 495 

(For further references to the important German monographs, cf. 

footnotes to Chapter V.; and Appendix, Section V.) 
F. B. Dresslar, Studies in the Psychology of Touch, Amer. Jour, of 

Psy., VI. H. Griffing, Sensations from Pressure and Impact, 

Monogr. Suppl. of Psych. Rev. 


J. Jastrow, Time Relations of Mental Phenomena, 1890. L. Lange, 
Neue Experimente, u. s. w., Phil. Stud., IV., p. 479. E. B. Titch- 
ener, Type Theory of the Simple Reaction, Mind, 1895, pp. 74, 
506 ; ibid., 1896, p. 236. J. M. Baldwin, Types of Reaction, Psych. 
Rev., 1895, II., p. 259. Cf. Mind, 1896, V., p. 81. N. Alechsieff, 
Phil. Stud., XVI., 1900. 

Kiilpe, op. cit., 22 and 23. 


Titchener, Outline, 46. James, op. cit., II., pp. 493, 499-500, 503-509, 
514, 515. Ferrier, Functions of the Brain, London, 1886. Breuer, 
Ueber die Funktion der Otolithenapparate, Pfliiger's Archiv, 
XL VIII., p. 195. Brown, On Sensations of Motion, Nature, XL., 
1889, p. 449. E. B. Delabarre, Ueber Bewegungsempfindungen, 
Freiburg, 1891. E. Mach, Lehre von Bewegungsempfindungen, 
Leipzig, 1875. Analysis of Sensations, Eng. Tr., Chicago, 1897. 

(Cf. H. Miinsterberg, Grundziige, p. 231 seq.) 

Nativist Theory 

Carl Stumpf, Tonpsychologie, II., pp. 51 seq. (cf. L, p. 210 and II., p. 
550) ; Ueber den psychologischen Ursprung der Raumvorstellung, 
Leipzig, 1873. E. Hering, Beitrage zur Physiologic, I. and III., 
Leipzig, 1861 and 1863. Der Raumsinn u. die Bewegungen des 
Auges (in Hermann's Handbuch, III.). James, op. cit. 

Empiricist Theory 

H. Spencer, Principles of Psychology, Vol. II., Chapters XIV. and 
XXII. J. S. Mill, Examination of Sir William Hamilton's Philos- 
ophy, Vol. L, Chapter XIII. (Cf. Bain, Senses and Intellect.) 
Helmholtz, op. cit., 33, p. 947 seq. 

496 Bibliography 

The Eye as " Organ " of Consciousness of Extensity 

(Cf. Sanford, op. cit., Chapters V. and VII. ; Titchener, Exp. Psych., I., 
Instructor's, 46-48; Aubert, op. cit.; Fick and Bering in 
Hermann's Handbuch, III.) 

The Space Consciousness of the Blind 

W. Preyer, The Mind of the Child, Vol. II., The Intellect, Appendix C. 
Raehlmann, Ztschr., II., pp. 73-85. W. Uhtorff, in Beitrage zur 
Psychologic (Helmholtz Festschrift). 

Auditory Localization 

M. Matsumoto, Studies from Yale Psycholog. Lab., 1897. W. Preyer, Die 
Wahrnehmung der Schallrichtung, PJluger's Archiv, XL., 1887. 
Urbantschitsch, Zur Lehre von der Schallempfindung, ibid., 
XXIV., 1881. E. Bloch, Das Binaurale Horen, Wiesbaden, 1893. 
Miinsterberg and Pierce, The Localization of Sound, Psych. Rev., 
I., 1894. C. E. Seashore, Localization of Sound in the Median 
Plane, Univ. of Iowa Studies in PsychoL, 1899. J. R. Angell and 
W. Fite, Monaural Localisation of Sounds, Psych. Rev., May and 
Sept., 1901. 

Tactual Localization 

V. Henri, Ueber die Raumwahrnehmungen d. Tastsinnes, Leipzig, 
1898. G. A. Tawney, Ueber die Wahrnehmung zweier Punkte, 
u. s. w., Phil. Stud., XIII. M. F. Washburn, Ueber den Einfluss 
d. Gesichtsassociationen, u. s. w., ibid., XL, p. 190. 



Hoffding, op. cit., pp. 184 seq. James, op. cit., I., Chapter XV. Miin- 
sterberg, Grundziige, Chapter 7. L. Stern, Psychische Prasenz- 
zeit, Ztschr., XIIL, p. 332. C. A. Strong, Consciousness and Time, 
Psych. Rev., III., p. 150. M. W. Calkins, Time, Space and 
Causality, II. (c), Mind, N. S., VIII. 

Experimental and Theoretical 

E. Meumann, Beitrage zur Psychologic d. Zeitsinns, Phil. Stud., VIII. 
and IX., 1893. F. Schumann, Uber die Schatzung kleiner Zeit- 
grb'ssen, Ztschr., IV. H. Munsterberg, Zeitausfiillung, Beitrage, 
IV., p. 89. H. Nichols, Amer. Jour. Psy., IV., p. 84. L. T. 

Bibliography 497 

Stevens, On the Time-Sense, Mind, 1885. T. L. Bolton, Rhythm, 
A?ner. Jour. Psy., VI., 1893. E. Meumann, Unters. zur Psych, u. 
Aesth. d. Rhythmus, Phil. Stud., X., 1894 (cf. M. K. Smith, ibid., 
XVI., 1900). 


Kiilpe, op. cit., 4-9, et al. 

(For further references cf. Sanford, p. 362; and add, L. Martin and 
G. E. Mtiller, Zur Analyse der Unterschiedsempfmdlichkeit, Leip- 
zig, 1899 ; E. A. McC. Gamble, op. cit.) 


(For references, cf. Titchener, Exp. Psych., I., II., p. 187; cf. also 
footnotes of Chapter XI., and Appendix, Section VII.) 

Wundt, PhysioL Psych., II., 437 seq. Kiilpe, op. cit., 42. 


M. W. Calkins, Association, Monogr. Suppl. Psych. Rev., 1896. Arthur 
Allin, tlber d. Grundprincip d. Association, Berlin, 1895. F. H. 
Bradley, Principles of Logic, 294 seq. Wundt, Phil. Stud., VII. 
A. Bain, Senses and Intellect, pp. 544-556. (Cf. footnotes of 
Chapter XXVIII., pp. 438-440.) 

Experimental Studies 

1. On Classification of Associations: Trautscholdt, Philos. Studien, L, 

pp. 216 if. Miinsterberg, Beitrage, IV. Aschaffenburg, Exp. 
Studien iiber Associationen, Leipzig, 1895. Ziehen, Ideenassoci- 
ation d. Kindes, I. and II. (Abhandlungen aus d. Gebiete der 
Padagogischen Psych, u. Physiol., Berlin.) Scripture, Uber den 
associativen Verlauf, Philos. Stud., VII., 1892. 

2. On Secondary Laws of Association : M. W. Calkins, op. cit., Part II. 

3. Mediate Association: W. Jerusalem, Philosoph. Stud., X. (Cf. 

Scripture and Miinsterberg, op. cit.) 

4. On Interference of Associations: J. A. Bergstrom, Amer. Jour. Psy., 

V., p. 356, and VI., p. 433. 


498 Bibliography 

(Cf. on Consciousness of Space and of Time.) 


G. T. Fechner, Elemente d. Psychophysik, 1860, II., XLIV. P. Galton, 
Inquiries into Human Faculty, 1883, pp. 83 seq. Strieker, Studien 
iiber die Sprachvorstellungen, 1880. George H. Lewes, Principles 
of Success in Literature, Chapter III. James, op. cit., II., Chapter 
XVIII. Sully, The Human Mind, I., Chapter X. W. Lay, 
Mental Imagery, Monogr. Suppl. Psych. Rev., 1898. 


(Cf . references to Burnham and Ebbinghaus in Chapter XVI.) 
G. E. Mtiller and A. Pilzecker, Exp. Beitr. zur Lehre vom Gedachtniss, 
Leipzig, 1900. (Cf. Ztschr. VI., 1893.) E. A. Kirkpatrick, An 
Experimental Study of Memory, Pysch. Rev., I., p. 602 (Verbal 
vs. Concrete Memory). Cf. Wellesley, Psycholog. Lab. Studies, 
Psych. Rev., V., p. 451 (Modification of Kirkpatrick's Experiment). 
Harvard Psycholog. Lab. Studies, Psych. Rev., I., pp. 34, 453; 
III., p. 21. Princeton Psycholog. Lab. Studies, Psych. Rev., II., 
p. 236 (Memory for Square Size). W. G. Smith, Relation of 
Attention to Memory; Mind, N. S., IV., 1895. 


(Cf. references in Chapters XVII. and XVIII.) 

Th. Ribot, Evolution of the General Idea, Eng. Tr., Chicago, 1899. A. 
Binet, The Psychology of Reasoning, Eng. Tr., 1899. 

(Cf. references in Chapter XIX.) 

Classification of Emotions 

Titchener, Outline, 56. J. Ward, Encycl. Brit., XX., pp. 67, 70. A. 
Bain, Feeling and Will, pp. 71-77 and heading of Chapters V.- 

Bibliography 499 

Personal Emotion 

J. M. Baldwin, Social and Ethical Interpretations in Mental Develop- 
ment, Chapter VI., Section 3. Hoffding, op. *., pp. 242-253. 

^Esthetic Emotion 

Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Idea, Book III. George San- 
tayana, The Sense of Beauty. Marshall, Pain, Pleasure, and Es- 
thetics, p. 110 seq. Heymans, Ztschr.f. Psych, u. Phys., XI., July, 
1896. V. Lee and C. A. Thomas, Beauty and Ugliness, Contemp. 
Review, 1897, Vol. LXXIL Ethel Puffer, Criticism and Esthetics, 
Atlantic Monthly, 1901. (For further references, cf. Bosanquet, 
History of Esthetics, and Marshall, op. cit., Chapter III.) 

The Sense of Humor 

C. C. Everett, Poetry, Comedy and Duty. Th. Lipps, Psychologic d. 
Komik (includes criticisms of Kraepelin, Vischer, Lotze, Hecker), 
Philosophische Monatshefte, XXIV. and XXV. E. Kraepelin, Zur 
Psychologie d. Komischen, Phil. Stud., II. Ziegler, J. Das 
Komische, Leipzig, 1900. 

Bodily Changes 
The James-Lange Theory and its Critics 

W. James, Principles of Psychology, Chapter XXV. (Briefer Psy- 
chology, Chapter XXIV.) The Physical Basis of Emotion, 
Psych. Rev., I., pp. 516 seq. C. Lange, Ueber Gemuthsbewe- 
gungen, Tr. by H. Kurella, Leipzig, 1887. J. Dewey, The Theory 
of Emotion, Psych. Rev., II., 13. W. Wundt, Philos. Stud., VI., 
p. 349. D. Irons, James's Theory of Emotion, Mind, 1894 et al. 
W. L. Worcester, Observations on Some Points in James's Psychol- 
ogy, II., Monist, III., p. 285. J. M. Baldwin, The Origin of Emo- 
tional Expression, Psych. Rev., I., p. 610. 

Biological Considerations 

C. Darwin, Expression of the Emotions. J. Dewey, op. cit., Psych. 
Rev., I., p. 553. (Cf. James, II., pp. 478-479, for references to 
Spencer, Bell, Mantegazza and others.) 

500 Bibliography 

Experimental Studies 

J. R. Angell and H. B. Thompson, Organic Processes and Consciousness, 
Psych. Rev., VI., 1899 (with full references) . T. E. Shields, Effect 
of Odours, etc., upon the Blood-flow, Journal of Exp. Medicine, I., 
1896. Binet and Courtier, L'Anne'e Psych ologique, III., 1897. 
Binet and Henri, Ibid. F6re\ Sensation et Mouvement, Paris, 1887. 
A. Lehmann, Hauptgesetze d. Menschl. Gefiihlslebens, Ger. Tr., Leip- 
zig, 1892, and Die Korperlichen Aiisserungen, psychischer Zustande, 
Leipzig, 1899. A. Mosso, Die Temperatur d. Gehirns, Kreislauf 
d. Blutes, u. s. w., Die Ermiidung. Miinsterberg, Beitrage, IV., 216. 


James, op. cit., II. , Chapter XXVI. H. Miinsterberg, Die Willens- 
handlung, Freiburg, 1888, esp. pp. 60-76; The Psychology of the 
Will, Psych. Rev., 1898; Psychology and Life, pp. 210 seq., 
Grundziige, Chapter IX., 7. G. Stout, Analytic Psychology, II., 
esp. pp. 130-135, 143-148. 


Baldwin, Feeling and Will, pp. 148-160. James, op. eit., II., Chapter 


To the references of Chapter XXIII. add 

G. Tarde, Social Laws, Eng. Tr., 1899. (Cf. La Logique Sociale, 
^'Opposition Universelle, Paris, Alcan.) H. Spencer, Principles 
of Sociology. (Cf. references in J. M. Baldwin, Social and Ethical 

(Cf. Baldwin, Mental Development in the Child and the Race.) 

Psychology of Animal Consciousness 

C. L. Morgan, Animal Life and Intelligence (esp. Chapters IX. and X.); 
Comparative Psychology (esp. Chapters XIV., XVI., XX.). 
Wesley Mills, Animal Intelligence, 1898 (contains * diaries ' of de- 
velopment of young animals). Romanes, Mental Evolution in Ani- 
mals (esp. Chapters VII.-X., XIX., XX.). J. Lubbock, Ants, Bees 

Bibliography 501 

and Wasps, 1899. Edward Thorndike, Animal Intelligence, 
Monogr. Suppl. to Psych. Rev., 1898. James, op. cit., II., pp. 
348-355 (on Thought); Chapter XXV., on Instinct. Wundt, 
Lectures on Human and Animal Psychology, XXIII. and XXIV. 
R. D. Yerkes, Reaction of Entomastraca to Stimulation by Light. 
Contributions from Harvard Zobl. Lab., No. 103. 

Psychology of Child Consciousness 

Studies of Individual Children: M. W. Shinn, The Biography of a 
Baby, 1901 ; Notes on the Development of a Child, University of 
California. W. Preyer, The Mind of the Child, I. and II., Eng. 
Tr., Appleton ; Mental Development in the Child (a condensa- 
tion). H. Taine, Sur 1' Acquisition du Langage chez les Enfants, 
Revue Philos., I., 1876 (cf. Mind, II., p. 252). Charles Darwin, 
Mind, O. S. II. K. C. Moore, The Mental Development of a Child, 
Monogr. Suppl. of Psych. Rev. 

Topical Studies : James Sully, Studies of Childhood, 1896. F. Tracy, 
The Psychology of Childhood (a summary). 

(Cf. G. S. Hall, Earl Barnes, H. W. Brown, S. E. Wiltse, Wellesley 
College Studies, in the Pedagogical Seminary and elsewhere, for 
studies of children's fears, self -conscious ness, religious ideas, 
imaginations, drawings, etc.) 

Nature and Origin of Language: G. Romanes, Mental Evolution in 
Man, p. 138 ; W. D. Whitney, Language and the Study of Lan- 
guage, p. 426 (cf . Encycl. Brit. ed. 9, Vol. XVIII.) ; F. Max 
Miiller, Science of Thought, I., p. 192 ; James, op. cit., II., p. 356 ; 
Morgan, Animal Life and Intelligence, p. 343. 


F. Galton, Inquiries into Human Faculty, pp. 114-154. Th. Flournoy, 
Des Phe"nomenes de Synopsie, 1893. Bleuler u. Lehmann, Zwang- 
massige Lichtempfindungen durch Schall u. s. w., Leipzig, 1881. 
S. de Mendoza, L' Audition Colored, Paris, 1890. M. W. Calkins, 
Amer. Jour. Psy., 1893, V., p. 439, and 1895, VIL, p. 20. Beaunis 
and Binet, Revue Philosophique, 1892. G. E. Gruber, ibid., Vol. 
XXXV., Ztschr., 1893. W. 0. Krohn, " Pseudochromesthesin," 
Amer. Jour. Psy., 1892 (cf. Bibliography). D. S. Jordan, The Colors 
of Letters, Pop. Sci. Monthly, 1891. Binet, ibid., Oct., 1893. G. T. 
W. Patrick, Number forms, ibid., 1893. D. E. Phillips, Amer. 
Jour, of Psych., 1897. 

502 Bibliography 


(Cf. throughout (except on Dreams), Proceedings of Society for 
Psychical Research. Cf. also J. Jastrow, Fact and Fable in 
Psychology, 1901.) 


Summaries : Sante de Sanctis, I Sogni, Turin, 1899. (This is the com- 
pletest work on the subject, including introspective and experi- 
mental investigation.) M. de Manac6ine, Sleep, London and New 
York, 1897, Chapter IV. Radestock, Schlaf u. Traum, 1879. 
Sully, Illusions, Chapter VII. 

Introspective Study : M. W. Calkins, Statistics of Dreams, Amer. Jour. 
Psych., V., 1893. Wellesley College Studies of Dreams, I. and II., 
ibid., VII., 1896, and XI., 1900. E. B. Titchener, Taste Dreams, 
ibid., 1895. (Cf. the classic work of A. Maury, Le Sommeil et les 
Reve, 4me ed., Paris, 1878, and Ives Delage, Revue Scientijique, 

Questionnaire Study : F. Heerwagen, Statistische Untersuchungen iiber 
Traiime, Philos. Stud., V., 1888. J. Nelson, A Study of Dreams, 
Amer. Jour. Psy., I. 


(Cf. bibliographies in E. Parish, Hallucinations and Illusions, Eng. 
Tr., London and New York, 1897.) 

Crystal Vision 

F. W. H. Myers, The Subliminal Self, Proc. Soc. Ps. Res., VIII., 
pp. 472 seq. (Cf. references in Parish, op. cit., pp. 63-70.) 

Automatic Writing 
A. Binet, Double Consciousness, Eng. Tr., 1890, pp. 23-33. 


Albert Moll, Hypnotism, Eng. Tr., New York, 1890. James, op. cit. 
II., Chapter XXVIT. (cf. brief bibliography, pp. 615, 616). Cf. 
also Proc. Soc. Ps. Res., and Revue de I'Hypnotisme. 

Bibliography 503 

Changes in Personality 

James, op. cit., I., Chapter X., pp. 373-400. F. W. H. Myers, The Sub- 
liminal Self, Proc. Soc. Ps. Res., VII., VIII. and IX. Th. Ribot, 
Diseases of Personality, Eng. Tr., 1887. Pierre Janet, L'Auto- 
matisme Psychologique, 1889. 


Frank Podmore, Apparitions and Thought Transference. Gurney, 
Myers and Podmore, Phantasms of the Living, I., pp. 8-95. 

Physical Explanation of Telepathy 

Hanssen and Lehmann, Wundt's Philosophische Studien, XI., p. 471 ; 
reviewed by W. James, Psych. Rev., III., p. 98 ; answered by H. 
Sidgwick, Proc. Soc. Ps. Res., XII., p. 298. 


Siebeck, Geschichte der Psychologic, I. and II., 1880, 1884 (through 
Thomas of Aquino). 


(Cf. Wundt, Physiol. Psychologic; Ebbinghaus, Psychologic; Ladd, 
Elements; James, Briefer Psychology, Chapters VII., VIII. 
Foster, op. cit., Book III., Chapters L, II., Sections 1-3.) Flechsig, 
Gehirn u. Seele, 2te Ausg., Leipzig, 1896 ; Neurolog. Centralblatt, 
1898. H. Donaldson, The Growth of the Brain, London and 
New York, 1897 (cf. Amer. Jour. Psy., IV.)- L. Edinger, Anat- 
omy of Central Nervous System, Eng. Tr., 1899. H. Martin, The 
Human Body, Chapters XII. and XIII. 


(This supplementary list, of course, makes not the slightest claim 
to completeness. Besides the titles of certain books and monographs, 
published since 1901, it contains a few referring to an earlier date.) 

General Psychology: H. Ebbinghaus, Grundziige, I. (complete), Leipzig, 
1902 ; L. Witmer, Analytical Psychology, 1902 ; J. Royce, Outlines 

504 Bibliography 

of Psychology, 1903 ; T. Lipps, Leitfaden der Psychologie, 1903 ; 
G. F. Stout, The Groundwork of Psychology, 1903 ; J. R. Angell, 
Psychology, 1904. 

Nature of Psychology : H. Munsterberg, The Position of Psychology in 
the System of Knowledge, Harv. Psych. Studies, 1903 ; S. Exner, 
Entwurf zu einer physiologischen Erklarung der psychischen 
Erscheinungen, 4 te Aufl., Leipzig, 1904 ; C. A. Strong, Why the 
Mind has a Body, 1902. 

Experimental Psychology: G. M. Stratton, Experimental Psychology 
and Culture, 1903. 

Spatial Localization: A. H. Pierce, Studies in Auditory and Visual 
Space-Perception, 1902 ; E. A. Gamble, The Perception of Sound 
Direction, Psych. Rev., 1902, IX., 357. 

Recognition and Memory: I. M. Bentley, Amer. Jour, of Psych. XI., p. 
1 seq. ; G. M. Whipple, ibid., XII., 409, and XIII., 219 ; E. A. Gamble 
and M. W. Calkins, Zeitschr., 1903, XXXII., 177, and XXXIII., 

Emotions. Classification : D. Mercier, Mind, IX., and X. ^Esthetic Emo- 
tion : R. MacDougall, Structure of Simple Rhythm Forms, Harv. 
Psych. Studies, I., 1903 ; E. D. Puffer, Studies in Symmetry, ibid. 
Bodily Changes : C. Stumpf, Ueber den Begriff der Gemiithsbewe- 
gung, Zeitschr., XXI., 47. 

Volition and Will: F. H. Bradley, The Definition of Will, Mind, 1902, 
pp. 437 seq. ; 1903, pp. 145 seq. ; 1904, pp. 1 seq. 

Animal Psychology: L. T. Hobhouse, Mind in Evolution, 1901; J. Leob, 
Comparative Physiology of the Brain and Comparative Psy- 
chology, 1900 ; H. S. Jennings, Contributions to the Study of the 
Behavior of Lower Organisms, Carnegie Institute, 1904; J. B. 
Watson, Animal Education, Chicago, 1903; Thorndike, Mental 
Life of the Monkeys, Psych. Rev. SuppL, 1901 ; A. J. Kinnaman, 
Mental Life of Two Macasus Rhesus Monkeys, Am. Jour, of Psych., 
1902, XIII., 98 seq., 173 seq.; R. D. Yerkes, Harv. Psych. Studies, 
I., 1903, 565; K. Groos, The Play of Animals, Eng. Tr., 1898; 
G. H. Schneider, Der Thierische Wille, 1880; A. Bethe, Pfliiger's 
Archiv, 1898; Schrader, ibid., 1887 and 1888. 

Child Psychology : Ament, Kinderpsychologie, 1904 ; K. Groos, The Play 
of Man, Eng. Tr., 1901 ; C. Stumpf, Methodik der Kinderpsycho- 
logie, Zeitschr. fur Pddagog. Psych., II.; W. Wundt, Grundriss, 
20. Language: Wundt, Volkerpsychologie ; Grundriss, 21, A ; 
Ament, Begriff und Begriffe der Kindersprache, Berlin, 1902. 

History of Psychology : M. Dessoir, Geschichte der neueren deutschen 
Psychologie, Berlin, 1897; G. Villa, Contemporary Psychology, 
Eng. Tr., 1903, 


The Bibliography is not referred to except in the case of subjects mentioned 

only there. 

423 ; phenomena, 397 ff., 415 ff. ; an- 
alogy to normal consciousness, 413 f. ; 
distinction from normal, 415 ff. 

Abstraction and abstract notion, 224- 
226; related to attention, 224; to 
generalization, 225 f. 

Activity (cf. Self-consciousness, Atten- 

^Esthetic consciousness (cf. Emotion). 

AFFECTIONS, 113-124; two, 113, 122; 
combined, 122 f. ; not always present, 
113; not 'attributes,' 114; physical 
stimuli, 115 f. ; physiological conditions, 
n6ff. ; physiological theories: Mar- 
shall's, 120; Titchener's, 121; Miin- 
sterberg's, 121. Of animals, 366, 372. 

Agraphia, 461, 462.